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Red Mage 101Follow

#1 May 04 2004 at 6:58 PM Rating: Excellent
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THIS GUIDE HAS NOW BEEN DISCONTINUED. TIRED OF THE TROLLING EVERYWHERE I GO. GET A LIFE.

CONTACT ME IN GAME TO DISCUSS, SMURV, SHOULD YOU SO CHOOSE. THE NEW VERSION IS READY TO BE POSTED ELSEWHERE IF YOU WANT IT.

MODERATORS: IT WOULD BEHOOVE YOU TO LOOK INTO WHO IS DOING WIDESPREAD TROLLING.

Red Mage 101

Edited and updated on 5/15/04
Updated on 5/18/04 with 102
Updated on 5/23/04 with 201
Updated on 6/05/04 with 202

SO FAR THIS GUIDE IS GEARED TOWARD LEVELS 1-65. THIS IS NOT APPLIED TO POST-70 END GAME. ENOUGH DEBATE ON THAT PLEASE ... BY THAT TIME YOU SHOULD HAVE FIGURED ALL OF THIS OUT ON YOUR OWN AND ADAPTED AN ACCEPTABLE PLAYSTYLE THAT FITS YOUR CHARACTER.

There is enough BS on this and other web boards about what being a red mage is all about that it makes me sick. To correct this, at the cost of my karma, I am submitting a red mage guide to lead you from the start to level 65 in the easiest way possible and providing information on the BEST way to play this class. Unfortunately, being a very adaptable class, many red mages have taken other ways of playing this class and held them up as proper when they are anything but. I have watched hundreds of other red mages in action and no other way is as effective as this, I guarantee you. To back this up, I am currently the most desired red mage for all purposes be it partying or questing under level 65 on Fairy server. If you play your job right you will be loved and sought after ... if you don't you will be a desperation pick from people that just want you to be a refresh **** or dispel tank for their party. I'm going to be painfully honest and blunt in here, so please refrain from the immature whining that always comes from people that don't like hearing the truth.

I must clarify for those that seek to nitpick: there are other EFFECTIVE ways of playing this class, but none prior to level 65 that are AS EFFECTIVE. I am a staunch advocate of adding melee damage WHEN IT MAKES SENSE. This does not mean you should be out begging for sickle slash, silence, or curse from mobs. Further, on mobs that take an excessively long time to kill and have deadly weapon skill melee combat with a weapon that does MELEE damage (not enspell damage) is not recommended or you may find a member of your party dead. For higher level red mages that start encountering these weapon skills an investment in the art of dagger wielding an a Beestinger will be most appreciated.

--- Races ---

Many have criticised this portion of the guide. Other than the Galkan race, there is no "terrible" race to play this class in. Each race has its strengths and weaknesses and allow for different styles of play. As far as general effectiveness and adaptability goes, however, there are some races that have more abilities available to them than others and whose stats are suited for the broadest spectrum of party and solo play.

There is only one perfect match for this job, and that is Hume. The other jobs, while they may look good on paper can never match the effectiveness of this race. Combining decent dexterity, intelligence, mind, strength, and MP/HP, this race will allow you more options than any other to excel. I am biased here since I am a hume myself, but having played with all other races with the exception of Galka I find that if all things are equal the Hume red mages are more effective overall due to their annoying average traits in everything. One of the largest advantages of this and the Mithran race is their balance of melee performance and survivability without sacrificing much in the way of magical strength. Where a Hume or Mithra can usually find themselves readily able to swap tank or emergency tank as needed a Taru can not. More will be covered on this later. The other advantage is due to their perfect balance of melee and magical powers in this class it makes soloing very easy, and they are second only to Mithra in their abilities to solo regular and NM enemies.

The second alternative, and one that is almost equal in performance is Mithra. Besides looking snazzy in AF, they have added dexterity at the cost of strength. Since this is not a powerhouse job it is up to you to decide whether this will help you or not: you will always do less damage than a Hume but on high evasion mobs you will hit more ... mostly this is an aesthetic choice, but it will be slightly more difficult to play this race over Humes in the long run. This race is without peer when it comes to soloing due to their extremely high DEX and AGI. Though in party play as an HNM tank an Elvaan is more survivable, when on their own a mithra will hit more often due to their DEX which usually balances their slight loss in damage. Though this isn't a large issue with Humes who nearly never miss on EM/T mobs, a Mithra will miss so rarely it is something to be amazed at. On more powerful enemies, however, the difference in melee damage will be more noticable as their STR falls farther behind the VIT of the enemy.

The third alternative is the Taru Taru race. You will never be able to stand long on the front lines playing as a Taru Taru and this will heavily limit your effectiveness. Your HPs are low along with your strength and vitality, limiting your adaptability in battle. Unlike your Hume and Mithran brethren you will never be able to safely swap tank and will be more likely to die from AOE attacks. Your MPs, while nice, will not make up for this since after level 30 your elemental skills will fall far behind those of a black mage, though if you want to be a back line red mage for your entire career this isn't a horrible choice. This can be done quite well if you are willing to spend exorbitant amounts of gil on equipment to assist you in blowing your enemies up. Another penalty of this race is that you will never be able to solo like the above two races can. It can be done, but it will be more difficult in the long run. While more suited for backline play due to their enhanced magical abilities they will never find it as comfortable to be on the front lines.

The only other real alternative is Elvaan. Your STR and VIT, while nice, will never make up for your lack of DEX and MP. You will not have enough MP to properly chain mobs later in the game even with the best equipment available (i.e. tens of millions of gil) and due to your DEX you will find it near impossible to actually land blows later in the game unless you forsake any MP boosts for DEX/ACC equipment. This race will start to pale drastically to the above three once you hit 41 and most elvaan red mages drop the job by the time they reach 50. This is the race to be at 75 for HNM tanking, though in solo and party play their feeble DEX will make it much more difficult to hit the enemy. Their higher HP, however, will make it less likely when hit that their spells will be interrupted which makes them eminently suitable for swap and trick tanking or taking on NMs with a party.

I've only ever seen one galka RDM high enough to wear AF. This race is so pathetically gimped in MP, INT, and MND that you shouldn't even consider it unless you like punishment. I don't think I need to say anything more about this lousy choice.

If you are an improper race should you even bother? Unless you are a Galka the answer is yes. With that exception the other races can find themselves useful even later in the game (especially post 72 when the elvaan can use Errant gear to make up for many of their most woeful magical attributes) if you have exceptional skill. All things being equal though, the first two choices are and will always be your best bet.

-- Equipment ---

With that said, lets start with equipment and what levels you should be picking things up at. This is not a cheap job: I currently have over 1.3 million in spells and over 2.3 million in equipment. If you aren't prepared to spend time earning gil through farming or crafting then you will be limiting your options and will never be in the top ranks of red mages on your server. There are many areas of gear that you will have to focus on as well as keeping your spell list full to do this job properly, and I will touch on all of these briefly before going in depth into what you need at which levels to excel and alternatives for the cheap.

--- Weaponry ---

Regardless of what most red mages say, melee is a part of your life from the beginning of the game until the end. You have two classes of weaponry that will be mandatory that you use to be as effective as possible during the game: sword and dagger.
Swords are simple to pick: you want the most powerful sword you can get at all times, preferrably one with the lowest delay possible for that damage amount. You can melee fine, but you will never rival the damage of a primary melee after level 25. Using a weaker sword should never be an option except for the few cases I will point out in the weapon/level list.

Daggers are more difficult, though there are few options that will make sense for you to use. The one trait you want to pay attention to is delay. These weapons are used for only one thing: attacking very quickly on high defense mobs so your enspell damage will do more than what you could with a sword. On elementals, especially, having a 150 delay dagger with the proper enspell can usually kill it up to 50% faster than having the most powerful sword available in your hand. You will find, though, that the times that a dagger are useful are few ... it is always handy to have one or two around just in case.

Along with one of each of the above (at least) you should also always carry a wand for extremely resistant mobs. Damage does not matter at all on these: you will not be meleeing with them at all. You want the highest INT/MND boost you can get out of them, and you will only have one equipped when you are casting before you switch back to your trusty sword. Always carry a relatively current wand with you in case you find that your enfeebling magic isn't landing properly.

Since you will be subbing mage classes most of the time a staff is also an available choice. You can't level this skill with a red mage and there wouldn't be a reason to anyway. The paltry MP/HP bonuses you get off of some of these are not worth the benefits from one of the above choices and since your skill is low in it you will never land blows anyway with one. Red mages with staves make baby jesus cry, unless they are level 51 elemental staves, and these should be equipped only when their skills are being used. Since these range from 300-600K each, I will not be touching on them in this guide. You will probably begin acquiring a couple of these in your 60s before doing Genkei 5 against Maat in order to make that fight easier.

Weapons by level:
1: Wax Sword +1 (7dmg/218del/Acc+2) alt: Bronze Sword (6dmg/231del)
7: Xiphos +1 (9dmg/222del) alt: Xiphos (8dmg/228del)
7: Beestinger (4dmg/150del/Dex+1/Agi+1)
9: Spatha +1 (12dmg/233del) alt: Spatha (11dmg/240del)
9: Willow Wand +1 (INT+3/MND+3) alt: Willow Wand (INT+2/MND+2)
11: Bee Spatha +1 (14dmg/227del/Acc+2) [FARM FOR GIL, THIS IS MANDATORY!!!]
18: Flame Sword (16dmg/218del/Fire) alt: Fire Sword (15dmg/225del/Fire)
18: Yew Wand +1 (INT+4/MND+4) alt: Yew Wand (INT+3/MND+3)
20: Platoon Dagger (8dmg/150del) [DO BCNM20 FOR THIS!!!]
27: Gladiator (18dmg/222del) alt: Gladius (17dmg/228del)

Your melee will start to decline at this point. It is unfortunate, but you MUST keep your sword skill capped or you will find it nearly impossible to level later on. Your sword skill should be prioritized above levelling your dagger skill ... it is far more important and useful.

30: Centurion's Sword (19dmg/225del/Acc+3/Atk+4) alt: Broadsword (19dmg/233del)
32: Solid Wand (INT+5/MND+5) alt: Chestnut Wand (INT+4/MND+4)
34: Republic Sword (21dmg/213del/Acc+3/Atk+4) alt: Batokan Sword (20dmg/219del/Acc+3/Atk+4)
36: Holy Sword +1 (23dmg/219del/Light) alt: Holy Sword (22dmg/225del/Light)
38: Divine Sword +1 (24dmg/227del/Light) alt: Divine Sword (23dmg/233del/Light)
41: Fencing Degen (22dmg/224del/MP+10/INT+1/MND+1/AF1) [STATS MAKE UP FOR DAMAGE!!!]

Through 47 you will find melee combat painful. If you kept your skills up you are now in for some treats.

47: Knight's Sword +1 (32dmg/233del) alt: Knight's Sword (31dmg/233del) [DO NOT SELL YET]
48: Rose Wand +1 (INT+6/MND+6) alt: Rose Wand (INT+5/MND+5)
48: Hornetneedle (16dmg/150del/DEX+1/AGI+1/RE) [You won't be getting this until much later!]
49: Crimson Blade (28dmg/231del/MP+10/INT+5) [USE THIS ALONG WITH YOUR KNIGHT'S SWORD!]

If you thought that things were expensive before this, you are going to go nuts at this point. Weaponry will become insanely expensive, but you must keep up with it. The Hornetneedle is a Rare/Ex item that you will get in your 60s with a bunch of friends willing to help you. This dagger involves hours of farming of level 57 bees and is more difficult to get than any coffer key or genkei item ... be prepared for countless hours of frustration, though a good level 60 red mage can solo these without too much difficulty if they take the proper precautions. I just added that there since that is the level you can use it. It is perhaps the last dagger you will ever use. Until you get it use either the Beestinger or Platoon Dagger (keep them both). Here comes the pain ....

55: Wise Wizard's Anelace (34dmg/226del/14Atk) [Your damage sword]
55: Royal Guard's Fleuret (33dmg/215del/Acc+5/Parry+5) [Your accuracy sword]

Use these both depending on what you are fighting. If you can hit it easily then use the anelace. If you miss alot use the Fleuret. Many things you will fight in the 50s are highly evasive, though you will find ther Anelace is exceptionally suited for those that are not or for when you are farming or soloing. Prepare to spend 200K to get the pair of them.

60: Ebony Wand +1 (INT+7/MND+7) alt: Ebony Wand (INT+6/MND+6)
62: Gold Sword +1 (39dmg/233del) alt: Gold Sword (38dmg/240del)

You will probably never see a Gold Sword +1 in stock. This is the ultimate RDM damage weapon unless you are looking at multimillion gil swords such as the enhancing sword and such until you reach the 70s. They are also exceptionally difficult and rare to make. A regular Gold Sword will still put you back a good 50-60K. Sell your anelace at this point and keep your fleuret. Once again you will swap between the two as needed depending on the mob's evasion rate.

65: Mythic Wand +1 (INT+9/MND+9) alt: Mythic Wand (INT+8/MND+8)

And that is it going from level 1 to level 65. Unless you are levelling obscenely fast (not your first job, levelling to 30 in 3-4 days) don't skip any weapon tiers: you will find yourself gimped compared to what you could be doing. This is the reason that most red mages don't believe in meleeing: they refuse to spend money getting the equipment they need and keeping their skills up to date (or they are elvaan/taru ... poor buggers).

--- Armor ---

Yes, I said ARMOR. Unless you are a Taru you shouldn't be wearing frilly robes, and even if you are you should be looking at armor most of the time. You are a front line mage meaning you will take damage: reduce this as much as possible with good gear. I will keep this rather generic except for certain special items.

1: Bronze Armor
7: Leather Armor
7: Leaping Boots

Can you afford them? They come in awful handy later when you have accuracy problems. I would recommend camping them if you want them, and only once you reach the 40s ... anything before that would be a waste of your time and effort.

10: Royal Footman's Tunic with Scale Armor
16: Bone Armor (optional if you can wait one more level)
17: Lizard Armor
21: Beetle Armor
27: Brass Scale Mail
30: Full Centurion's Mail (this will pay off heavenly)

At this point you will start getting your RSE equipment. Use it in conjunction with Centurion's Mail as you see fit to be as effective as possible against that which you are fighting. This is very conditional, so I won't even attempt to go into the various combinations and conditions. Elvaan should definitely be using their RSE, however, as this will assist them in overcoming their general gimpiness in this job. As we continue up through 50 you will want to keep your Centurion's Mail and RSE and mix and match pieces with the next armor classes to be as effective as possible. Until I got my AF I always brought 3+ full sets of gear into the field so I could mix and match to become as effective as possible. This is a fine art and can't really be covered in depth ... this is where you can really make a name for yourself though.

45: Brigandine +1 alt: Brigandine

If you can afford Brigandine +1 it will pay you back in the end. Even with regular brigandine armor you will find yourself more survivable and accurate than with most all other gear. Regardless of your race you should be wearing one of these two items.

50: Tactician Magician's Coat

Not a robe! OMG! Keep the Brigandine armor and use these two conditionally for a while. Once you hit level 52 sell the Brigandine (Keep it if it is Brigandine +1) and get –

52: Gaia Doublet +1 (36def/VIT+5/Earth+12) alt: Gaia Doublet (35def/VIT+4/Earth+10)

Again, swap as needed. In conjunction with phalanx the +VIT equipment is godly for soloing or for situations where your tank has trouble keeping aggro. You will find even AOE damage will be reduced by the +VIT items, so use them as they are needed. These will come in especially handy when dealing with the things you will fight for your AF ....

55: Royal Knight's Aketon [DO NOT BUY!!!]

I weep when I see red mages wearing this. Of all the stupid things to waste money on ... it may somewhat match your AF pieces you have so far (I think it looks ridiculous on females with the gogo shorts) but only at the cost of very helpful stat boosts. Don't do it people!

59: Black Cotehardie

Very nice for enhancing your melee performance. Swap between your Warlock Tabard and this as needed. Keep in mind that you can't take hits as well and your Cure IVs will be hurt by this piece of equipment. This is most useful for the elvaan among us. This item IS NOT CHEAP!

59: Vermillion Cloak

Do you have 3.5 million gil laying around? Didn't think so. If you do, then buy this as an added boost to lower your resting times. Using this in party play otherwise is just an idiotic thing to do. Personally, I don't think it is worth it.

61: Carapace latency gear

What you say ??

You will not be using these in party play ever. These are for soloing. When your HP gets into the yellow hit your equipment change macro and swap into your latency gear for a massive defense and attack boost. This takes a great deal of skill and finesse, so unless you are on your game you will find this exceptionally difficult to do. You will find that only the most hardcore red mages will do this ... most find soloing too difficult to begin with let alone adding more difficulty to the mix.

69: Blue Cotehardie

Very nice melee boosts but still rapes your healing abilities. Again, this is most useful for elvaan. If you have 15 million laying around look at the +1 version if you can ever find one ... they are rare to the point of absurdity.

Anyway, I think you get the picture. Keep multiple sets of gear on you to enhance your performance as much as possible.

--- Capes ---

This is a very simple category. Get the highest def you can get at all times until you can get +INT/+MND gear. Save up and spend 90K at level 43 and get yourself a Red Cape +1 ... it will be part of your **** for a very long time. Once you hit 55 many of the R/E national capes are handy for solo play depending on your race. It would be wise to look into these.

--- Earrings ---

+MP is king. Buy the most powerful +MP earrings you can afford at all times. Unlike most other pieces of equipment the +1 version of these is never worth the cost. Save it for other more important things. Once you hit 30 consider a pair of morion earrings if you can synth them, otherwise save the 180K for Phalanx ... a much more important investment. At 60 look into a pair of Phantom Earrings if you can afford them, otherwise your Morions will still do fine for you. Another wise time investment is to farm the NM goblin in Onzozo after you reach 60 (unless you have friends willing to help you) who drops the Moldavite Earring (R/E). The +5 Magic Attack bonus will make a big difference in the power of your elemental spells and will reduce the number of resists to your enspells.

--- Range ---

Face it: your ranged skill sucks. Some do decently with a bow and arrow set, but it will become a drain on your finances that most of us can't afford for a very paltry gain (assuming you can actually hit the target). I would recommend only Mithras look into that option. Otherwise tote your fishing pole around until 25 and get yourself a Morion Tathlum for the stat boosts. Don't do what I did and accidenally use it after you buy it: 35K to pull a crab is not something that you will live down easily. Grab a Phantom Tathlum at 65 for the extra INT/MP boost.

--- Rings ---

Get a collection of these. +INT/+MND is nice. So is having a pair of Astral Rings when you hit level 10. Since you probably won't have those until you reach the 40s or higher keep a variety of +INT/+MND/+DEX/+STR rings on hand and mix and match them to suit the mob you are fighting. I carried six rings on me at all times once I reached the 30s ... I hope you did your gobbiebag quests. Once you can equip Electrum Rings buy them, and replace these with Astral Rings as soon as possible ... these seriously make levelling some of your subs a walk in the park.

--- Head ---

Do you see those pretty hairpins? BUY THEM! This is why red mages don't wear tunics ... get all the MP you can get and use hairpins until you get your pimp hat.

--- Shield ---

This is a simple matter, really. Get the shield with the highest defense at all times. There are a few exceptions to this rule, however:

40: Balance Buckler (Acc+3)

Add this to your +Acc **** for when you need a little nudge.

55: Musketeer Commander's Shield (AGI+3)

Use this until you can get a Darksteel Buckler. The extra evasion is better than nothing.

59: Darksteel Buckler (Atk+3)

Get a Spiked Buckler if you're obscenely rich ... the extra Atk isn't much, but will pay off more than the added evasion.

68: Astral Aspis

This is one of the RDM ultimate shields. Added MP and +INT makes this extremely desirable, but you have to kill the NM to get it. Most will never see one of these.

--- Neck ---

What can I say? Get +MND gear as you can get it. Justice Badge->Holy Phial ... you'll have to decide for yourself whether the MP hit with the Promise Badge is worth the +2 MND ... I've tried both and I prefer the Holy Phial. Once you hit 65 there are a number of exceptionally nice torques to raise your elemental and enfeebling skills. Invest in one of each of these.

--- Waist ---

Friar's Rope -> Merc Capt -> Royal Knight. At 48 buy a life belt for the times when you need the accuracy desperately. This is a hard call, since it will not be a great bonus (you are losing +2 in all stats except VIT) ... this is up to you.

--- Subjobs ---

There are many possibilities here and it is useful to level up all of them as subjobs at various times. The first and most useful of these is BLM.

RDM/BLM: This is the most useful subjob until you hit level 50. While you should also have WHM levelled up in case you need some of its qualities the elemental debuffs, warp, and AOE spells will make this an exceptionally useful job. This is perhaps the most common combination at all levels of play.

RDM/WHM: Use this for curaga (AOE sleep mobs) and status repair. Don't think that this will make your heals more powerful as it will not be noticable. This is useful for dual RDM or RDM/BRD later in the game. Using it as your primary and only sub will only gimp you compared to the effectiveness of a RDM/BLM. This combination will give you a slight MP penalty as well: not advisable for elvaan.

RDM/NIN: Once you hit 50 level NIN up to 25. Before you recieve dual wield 2 there is very little melee benefit to NIN, and the MP penalty you will get from subbing a melee class will overcome the slight melee benefit you recieve. This sub is best used for questing and NMs, since between blink and utse you will find yourself almost unkillable. Being an unkillable mage has its perks. If you can manage to land ninjitsu debuffs it is even nicer, but landing half level debuffs on mobs will grow exceptionally difficult later on. Keep this handy as an alternate sub, but remember that in most situations a mage sub will greatly exceed it in effectiveness. Late game when you have Utsesemi: Ni this will make you the most powerful tank in the game and one of the few that can solo avatars and HNMs with ease.

RDM/SMN: This is the one and only chain machine. You lose out on elemental debuffs, but post 50 you will be refreshed at 4MP/tick. Combine this with the occassional blinkga when fighting tricky and uncontrollable mobs and it is a very potent combination. If you will need the elemental debuffs for effectiveness or escape for safety (post 58) you will want to stick with BLM as a sub. I use this maybe one in three groups.

RDM/WAR: This is insanity, people. You lose MPs for provoke and a very slight gain in combat effectiveness. There is never a time that a RDM/WAR will be more effective than one of the above class combinations regardless of your race or equipment. This is why most of the bright eyed noobs will drop this combination in a heartbeat once they get a clue. RDM/WARs make baby jesus cry. On rare occassion you will find yourself in a party for skill-up or NM purposes in which a provoke or two could help. If you are not in one of these situations DO NOT DO THIS. I have found exactly one NM that this sub would be useful and that is Death From Above since a RDM is more survivable on it than any other class. In all other situations there are no benefits to this, so don't waste your party's time please.

RDM/BRD: If you are very skilled you may be able to pull this off. Personally, I would consider RDM/SMN superior to it. That's just me though. I'd love to be proved wrong here, but I've never seen someone pull it off decently. While it looks good on paper ... who knows.

RDM/THF: Unless you are in desperate need of hate control this is NOT a good combination for party play. Once you get Cyclone at 125 dagger skill, however, you can turn this into a money making machine with a 150 delay dagger. Run into your favorite haunt with stoneskin and phalanx up, make a massive train, gather them all into a tight bunch, then (with ice spikes on to lessen the absorbtion stoneskin takes) go into regular attack mode (haste up if you have it yet). Once you get 100 TP dump cyclone on the mobs and keep doing it over and over again. While you will kill slower than with a BLM sub you will get more gil and items making the trade effective.

RDM/SAM: For all that is holy NEVER use this in a party. Seriously. You will NEVER be as effective in a party with this sub EVER!!! With that said, it is very effective agains NMs that have MP pools if you have a Hornetneedle. With haste on you can drain 60 MP every 22 seconds making your MP pool virtually unlimited. Unless you find yourself in a specific position in which you could use this sub it is probably not one you will ever want to worry about levelling.

There are no other options unless you are looking for ultimate gimpage. Just don't do it.

--- Role Progression ---

Early on you will be effective as primary melee. Early on you will be able to take hits like anyone else. Early on you will be able to nuke like a BLM. That ends once you get out of the noob pits and hit level 33. Most of the people that argue odd job combinations or other annoying **** are in this noob region and haven't had any real game experience yet. Your calling in life regardless of level is to enfeeble mobs. We will touch on the effectiveness of these spells later. Secondary to this is your melee abilities. Third is your healing and nuking abilities. Regardless of your level (after you reach level 7-8, since every class is about the same prior to this) you will start every fight by enfeebling the mobs with spells targetted to reduce its strengths and general spells to reduce its combat effectiveness. After this you will enter melee with an enspell on (after you receive enthunder, of course) unless you are fighting mobs that can kill you in one hit with AOE attacks. If you have mages or dark knights that can stun this hould not be an issue for you even late in the game. Most red mages use this as an excuse to hide their cowardice or ineffectiveness due to not levelling their combat skills or buying a proper weapon. Once in melee, use nukes and heals as needed. At lower levels (prior to 41) you can disengage when the mob is getting low in HP to regenerate some of the MP you used nuking and healing. If you are casting, however, you should ALWAYS AND WITHOUT FAIL be in melee to add extra damage to the mob and kill it faster. Speeding up combat and enhancing expierence gain for your party is what you are all about. Even in the levels between 30 and 46 when you have absolute **** for a weapon selection you should still melee: your enspell damage can really add up even if you are hitting for 0 damage with your weapon (in which case you switch to a fast dagger). Neglecting to melee will cripple your melee skills when you reach 47 and beyond when some nicer swords are available to you.

Once you acquire dispel (do not level once you reach level 32 until you get your hands on a dispel scroll or you are nothing but an XP leech!) at 32 the game changes. You will be unable to rest during battles since you must always remain on your feet to remove defensive buffs the mobs you are fighting will use. Once you get dispel you will find yourself unable to nuke as much since you will have a lowered ability to rest at the ending moments of combat (this is when a mob is most likely going to buff themselves). This is when a red mage really begins to come into their own ... and since you're standing, you should be swinging your weapon as fast and hard as you can.

At 41 you reach another drastic shift in your job once you acquire refresh. While most (terrible) red mages insist you stick to a static and unchanging refresh order to keep everyone's MPs full, this is where the good mages are seperated from the bad. Your job is to provide enough assistance through refresh to not only keep your MPs adequate for emergency situations and further chaining but keep the others in your group where they need to be to do the same. I will touch on this in great detail later, but to suffice it to say that your ability to rest will almost be completely wiped out at this point, and this is where the elvaan begin to seriously suffer.

At 50 your job will change again. You will find that mobs will buff themselves much more (i.e. more dispel), fights last longer (more finesse is required to achieve regular chain 5-6), mobs do more damage (you will now be healing more), and your accuracy will become a problem (I hope you bought the +acc gear I recommended) on certain mobs. You will almost never cast nukes except for busting when you have excess MPs for your point in the chain (even your bursts are rarely effective for the cost in MPs except on certain mobs) and you will now have Haste to worry about. Split haste duties with the WHM and using them only as needed (haste spam hurts chains more than it assists them: a sign of a terrible RDM is insistance on hasting every melee member every fight) to keep a chain going or if you have excess MPs prior to a convert you need to use.

Once again, at 55 your job will change again. With the benefit of more powerful weaponry you now have the ability to do 2/3 the melee damage of primary melee characters on mobs depending on whether or not you levelled your melee abilities. You will find that you almost never use nukes at all anymore if you are doing your job properly since your elemental skills are so relatively low that they will rarely pay off what they cost in MPs. Your melee skills will always do more damage to mobs than you would if you wastefully chain nuked from the back lines. Once bards receive Ballad II you will now be called into parties as primary healers on occassion, and with 6-7MP/tick refresh (depending on sub) you can keep chains alive forever. It is only in these parties that you will not melee much, since you require song seperation from the melee characters.

At 60 you go through another massive shift once you receive your pimp hat. Now that your elemental skills are enhanced along with your intelligence you can start effectively bursting again (remember: your elemental magic macros should always put your wand in your hand prior to casting and return your sword to your hand afterwards), though you will once again be limited to doing this only when you have excess MPs to burn. A good party at this stage (once everyone has full AF) can chain for obscene amounts of XP (in excess of 7K/hr in very good parties), and this can only be done if you are doing your job correctly. Refusing to melee or use your skills to the best of your ability will only slow down your rate of XP gain. If you have a BLM sub you are the one person that will keep your group alive in a dungeon, as escape will take half the time for you to cast as it would a BLM.

Past 65 your job will change a number of times still as your potential subs gain more abilities that will assist you. I'll go into these changes as I discover them myself.

--- Skills ---

At no time should you ever allow your skills to fall below the cap. Of these, your dagger and elemental skills are the most difficult to keep high since you won't be using the dagger much and you won't be nuking much later in the game. Here are some strategies to keep these high.

Elemental: When using your BLM sub use your elemental debuffs. Frost is perhaps the most useful, especially on evasive mobs. Using these will always keep this skill up once you leave the "gimped BLM" stage of your career. Neglecting this skill will prevent you from ever passing level 70, since it is through elemental magic that you complete Genkei 5.

Dagger: You're screwed here. If you don't use it then level it as high as you can on EP mobs then fight EMs at zone walls as long as you can before zoning to rest. Weapon skills are obscenely difficult to level to full if you neglect them too long.

Enfeebling: You should never have a problem here. If you do, then find IT worms. Cast blink on yourself, run into range, and drop a dia on the mob. Run out of spell range. Rinse and repeat until you are capped. Shame on you!

Healing and Enhancing: Make two macros. One casts Cure on yourself three times. The other casts three different barspells on yourself. Stand in front of your mog house and alternate these macros running in and out of your mog house to fill your mps. If you let this go too long you will find that it will take you days of spellcasting to cap your skills.

Sword: Shame on you! See Dagger.

Dark: See enfeebling, but use bio or drain/aspir instead.

Parry/Shield: Since you won't be tanking these are difficult to level up. Solo EP-DCs while levelling up weapon skills and this will raise at a glacial rate. Don't ever kid yourself that you will cap these skills.

Evasion: Find an IT mob, cast stoneskin and phalanx on yourself, let it beat on you, then zone before you die. If you are in melee range like you should be this will stay reasonably close to cap anyway when you get occassional aggro.

Divine: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, um, er, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! This is the most wasteful thing you can level. Don't even bother with this. Banish isn't worth a **** when you are subbing WHM anyway.

Club: Why are you attacking with one of these? Use a sword or dagger!

--- Spells ---

Always and without fail have every spell available to you at your level. If you don't, then farm until you do. There is one exception to this rule, and that is phalanx: this spell is used for tanking in parties and soloing. With this spell you become almost immune to most EP mobs and it will reduce your damage by ([enhancing]/7.5)-10 damage every time you get hit. Combining this with stoneskin makes stoneskin last dramatically longer. There is nothing funnier than running around Giddeus at level 50 with stoneskin and phalanx on, gathering up 80+ yagudos, and then blasting them into oblivion with AOE nukes. You literally are immune to their damage. This also makes soloing for various quests and farming a breeze. Even at level 60 I found myself taking equivalent damage to the PLD in my parties with this spell on, and if fighting lower level mobs to help PL or train weapon skills with others it always made me the tank over any other class since I wouldn't take any damage. A safe time frame to get phalanx is around 40+ and you can get this through BCNM40 if you have perserverence.

Slow (MND): Use this every battle without fail. This lowers the amount of times the mob will hit your party and enhance your survivability greatly.

Paralyze (MND): Some mobs are resistant to this. Find which mobs are most susceptible to it and use it strictly on them. Good examples are goblins, orcs, crabs, and lizards. Using this on coeurls is a bad idea.

Bio (INT): This dramatically lowers the damage output of mobs you are fighting. If it isn't damage resistant, start every fight with the most powerful Bio spell you have.

Dia (MND): This dramatically lowers the defense of mobs you are fighting. If your party can't hit it hard, use this regardless of how hard it is hitting you. The faster it dies the less MP you will use. Note that Bio will always overwrite this so make sure your BLM and DRK aren't trying to level their dark skill at the expense of the party. Arguing with the overwrite properties of these spells will just make you look stupid so don't do it.

Blind (INT): If you have a paladin don't use this. Let them use flash and save the MPs. If nobody has flash then use this to lower the accuracy of the mob.

Frost (INT): Lowers evasion. Very useful especially after level 50. BLM sub.

Burn (INT): Lower INT. Better nukes. Let your BLM handle this if you have one. If not don't bother unless you are going to be chain nuking. Yeah ... don't bother.

Sleep (INT): The end all and be all of crowd control. Use the most powerful sleep spell you have to knock mobs down. Don't count on your BLM to do this since this is tied to enfeebling: this is your job, cowboy.

Shock (INT): Lowers MND ... good for overcoming enfeeble resistance. If you're using a wand you shouldn't ever need this.

Barelement: Increases defense if hit by that element. Good for soloing elementals or when fighting AOE mobs. Even if your WHM drops it on the party use it anyway since your enhancing skill is higher (it is, isn't it? LEVEL IT!).

Barstatus: Good for soloing, otherwise let the WHM handle this with AOE spells.

Spikes: Only use when soloing since you shouldn't be getting hit anyway. Use blaze for damage, ice for paralyze, and shock if you are farming tons of mobs simultaneously (the stuns add up).

Drown (INT): Lowers the mob's strength. This is a nice spell to use if the mob has both high def and atk when you have to use Dia rather than Bio.

Bind (INT): When this skill actually works, it only buys you a couple seconds. If you need this you are probably screwed anyway.

Diaga (MND): This shreds through blink. Good for soloing or pulling with AOEs ... or against ninja mobs WHEN pulling.

Gravity (INT): Good for pulling when you don't want hit. Also good for when things get out of control aggrowise and the mob is horny for a piece of mage. The evasion reduction is minimal so never cast it for that reason UNLESS (big conditional) your party is barely on the cusp of hitting or not. This is a judgement call that is very hard to learn, and a reason most less experienced red mages just spam it.

Blink (MND): Use it when you are about to take aggro in a party. Also nice for when you are pulling.

Stoneskin (MND): I hope your enhancing is capped. Drop on a wand before casting it for even more damage reduction. Combined with blink and phalanx this can buy your group quite a bit of time if things are going bad, and it is godly when soloing.

Phalanx: Use this before pulling aggro to yourself in a party and always have it on when soloing even if the mob is worthless to you. It saves quite a bit of MPs in healing.

Refresh: 150 MP for them, 40 MP to you. We'll cover this later.

Poison: Stacks with either dia or bio. The DOT sucks, but it is nice for pulling.

Haste: About a 20% increase in attack speed. Use this on your heavy hitter to increase damage output or on your blink tank to let them keep aggro better.

--- Refresh ---

Some classes need this more than others. The priority is in this order:
1) RDM. If you don't have MPs you can't keep a chain going.
2) PLD. If the PLD can't heal he can't keep aggro as well, and if you are chaining properly they don't have time to rest.
3) WHM. If you're dead there is no need to refresh, is there?
4) SMN. Stack it on them to let them use their pacts more wisely. Since they will be filling in for a WHM most of the time see above.
5) DRK. While most are idiots and won't use absorb spells, insist that they do so to enhance the group's performance. You won't have to refresh them often. Browbeat them if they think they are black mages: that isn't why you are giving them MPs. Again, these guys can't rest due to being melee. Their weapon skills will outshine what your resident BLM can dish out.
6) Everyone else.
7) BLM. Before 50 give it to them sparingly, but make sure they are resting alot too. Clear Mind III gives them obscene regeneration, so make sure they take advantage of this after 50 and only refresh them if you have extra MPs. If you burn MPs on them you won't have any to keep the chain going. The only time it is advisable to refresh a BLM regularly is if they are doing the lion's share of the damage in your group: Torama in Onzozo at level 62 is a good example of this. Again: this is a judgement call.

While most people will scream and whine about the BLM issue, it is the reality of the situation. Once they get CM3 they can regenerate MP 10x faster than refesh while sitting. Since their spells are so o/l bscenely expensive you are giving them 1-2 more casts per fight only and providing them a way to get themselves killed through aggro. Further, doing so prevents you from having enough MP to continue the chain. The only time you refresh a black mage post 50 is if you have a bard in the group as well to make up for your lost MPs or if you need to dump MPs for convert.

You should make note at what pace your group uses MPs and advise them on their rate of use. Do not try to use refresh as a crutch to let them waste MPs: advise them on how they can be more efficient. Remember: you can never rest if you are chaining quickly. If you burn through all of your MPs in the first three fights on enfeebling and refresh spells you will not have enough MPs after convert to hit chain 6. You should time it so you convert during chain 4 and take over for your primary healer so they can med up and retake control during chain 5. If you don't have enough MPs to do this you need to consider where your mps are going: most likely you are burning too much MP on refresh or on elemental magic. If it healing that is holding you back, then you are either fighting things that are too hard for your level or your PLD and WHM needs a serious talking to. Your PLD should be burning around 180 MP per cast of refresh ... make sure that they are doing their part to lessen both your load and the load of the WHM.

--- Skills ---

Convert: While many think this will prevent you from ever running dry of MPs this is quite different. This provides you with a free refill once every 10 minutes less whatever MP it takes to heal you. The proper use of this is to go as low as you possibly can in MP before using it since 1 MP equates to about 3.5 HP in healing or more. The payoff is there. This is a tricky skill to pull off in battle since using it allows a perfect opportunity for the mob to one shot you via an AOE attack or to grab aggro when you dump a Cure IV/Cure III combo on yourself to pull you out of the red. If you are at all unsure of whether you can survive a combat convert use blink first. Most AOE will tear through stoneskin with additional damage so using it to save yourself is NOT ADVISED. If you are worried about an AOE death then run to double AOE distance, convert and heal, then run back into combat. Before using this skill use whatever MP you have remaining on hastes, cures, and refreshes to get yourself as low as possible. I typically have under 15 MP when I convert (15 HP left on an IT mob, lol) ... use your MPs wisely.

Though I'm loathe to say, there are times that you must convert without healing yourself. An example is in avatar battles where you need all the MPs you can get. If your tank can keep hate and you're out of AOE, just blink up and keep going. These cases are extremely rare and you must use extreme caution. I've done over a dozen avatar battles now in which I've finished the battle with under 50 HP due to MP conservation after convert and it works very will ... under the right circumstances.

Chainspell: The obvious use is in chainwarp or chainescape macros. Converting and unloading holy **** on a mob is another. Converting and healing like crazy is another. Coverting and blink tanking after dumping heals is another. Consider it a combination of benediction and perfect dodge ... definitely one of the most useful two hours there are, so don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I've saved many parties with this ability. Even chainspell + Sleep 2 can be a potent combination. Let your imagination run riot.

--- Tanking ---

What you say ??

When things get really bad you are the backup tank for your party. With phalanx, stoneskin, and blink you can survive an extremely long time against even the toughest mobs. If your paladin is suffering and the mob is raping your white mage heal the mage, dump blink, heal again, and prepare to suffer its wrath. I have saved many groups through Cure IV provokes combined with protection magic: don't be afraid to do this. Also, it is possible for you to be a potent fuidama partner. Use stone/blink/phalanx, pull the mob, and then when the others are in position dump SATA and the others can engage. Even during combat you can serve as swap tank if you are prepared ... let that DRK/THF dump a SATA Guillotine on you and you can hold up damage free until the tank pulls it back just by using blink.

--- Healing ---

No WHM can safely do what you can do. Especially once you get your AF3 hat you can dump cures at an exceptional rate while surviving the attentions of the mob should they turn. You must always have enough MP on hand to save your group should things get ugly.

--- Solo Play ---

No other class in the game can solo like us (BSTs don't solo ... they bring friends). Even in the 60s I can solo certain tough mobs with difficulty, and EP that shred through other classes easily can't hurt us. In order to solo properly you must acquire phalanx at all costs. At my level the extra 20 damage per attack I don't take adds up quickly, especially considering that that is 20 less damage to stoneskin ... by the time it wears off you can cast it again and never take damage. Don't bother with blink when soloing, or at least not during the fight. By the time it's casted the old one is stripped ... it is a losing proposition.

There are only two types of mobs that you must be wary of: mobs with silence skills (not spells, as these are easily handled through silence of our own) and mobs with sleep skills. Without our magical protection we are as vulnerable as any other class. It is the protection spells that let us solo things that no other class can dream of, and if they are not available we will surely die. On that same note, sleep can be devastating since our protections keep us from waking: the damage the mob does gets applied to our protection, and by the time it wakes us our defenses are stripped and we are vulnerable until they are reapplied.

Through solo play our shield and parry skills will rise allowing us even more defense in parties when we happen to get aggro. Further it allows us to make money in ways no other class can. We have the power to tear through elementals safely where most classes would find even an EP elemental overpowering. Training spiders in Korroloka is a death sentence for even many level 60+ players yet I was doing it before 50 for spider webs. Discover what you can solo with little risk and jump on it for very nice gil rewards.

--- Paying For It All ---

You are the master at solo play. Farming is easy. So is mining or fishing in remote areas. What other class can mine in Ifrit's Cauldron as easily and safely as a red mage? Put the bomb to sleep, mine away, then escape if you have to. Hire yourself out as a mercenary for NMs later on to make gil, or be a sneak/invis tool for people doing quests or missions. At 10-20K a pop these things add up. The Ninja quest is soloable for a properly equipped 45 RDM ... hire yourself out to some people that need it at 5K a member to make quick and safe gil. There are always things that red mages can do that other people cant, so take advantage of them. Elementals are your prey of choice with fast daggers and enspells, particularly if you have energy draining weapons skills.

--- Notes ---

Always have your weapon out if you are standing. Regardless of what anyone might tell you, any damage you contribute to a mob is GOOD damage and helps your group kill it faster. Meleeing does not in any way get in the way of casting the spells you need to use. Further, if your tank is doing his job you should rarely if ever get aggro from the mob. Even AOEs are easily handled if the members of your party are doing their job (i.e. STUN). Don't ever be fooled by the hordes of terrible red mages out there that avoid melee like a plague that you will be ineffective at it: their issues are bad equipment and lousy skill. The only people with excuses for horrible melee are tarus and elvaan due to their respective lack of strength and dexterity. A properly balanced and equipped red mage can do a sizeable amount of damage at no MP cost during combat by a decent player. Further, remember that once you pass 32 your nuking days are in decline: you have more important things to be doing than trying to use your gimped elemental magic when you should be protecting and speeding up your group. Forcing your group to wait for you to rest and recover is the worst thing a red mage could ever do. Further, letting your skills go to pasture for any reason is inexcusable: each one serves a purpose that is necessary for you to function optimally. Red mages with low elemental skill can't layer on elemental debuffs later. Red mages with low enhancing will find it next to impossible to solo or save their group if things go wrong. Red mages with low healing will find that it takes twice as much MP to heal a party member. Red mages with low weapons skills will not contribute damage for their group. Red mages with low dark skills will find that they can't effectively leech mps from their targets. Red mages with bad equipment for any reason will never be comparable to those with the right equipment for their level. While it isn't a difficult job to play once you get used to it, this is the most complex job in the game. A good red mage can make a bad party good whereas a bad red mage will do nothing but drag his party down. What are you willing to be?

--- Arguments From Apologists ---

"I don't do enough melee damage so I'll nuke instead" - You are either a Taru or you're improperly equipped. Your nukes cause MP consumption which causes downtime. If you rest you're not available for emergency healing, dispel, or refresh ... in other words, you are not doing your job. On average it takes around 1/3 of your MP (hume) in elemental magic to equal your melee output ... is it worth it?

"I'm going to refresh everyone so we can use magic to be more effective!", "You suck because you don't refresh everyone!" - This is simple: if you burn refreshes on everyone something has to give. Either you're not debuffing properly, you're not healing, or you're resting and not chaining well defeating the purpose. If you refresh judiciously rather than spamming it your group will be more effective in the long run.

"I do a refresh order chain because it's b3ttar!" - Yeah, and you're wasting MPs. What happens if somebody didn't use enough to justify a refresh (i.e. a dark knight)? Are you still going to cast it on them and let most of the MP go to waste? Are you going to wait until they need it and let everyone else go without? Are you going to skip them altogether? Trying to keep in a set order will only cause extra downtime for the group in the long run because you're not adapting to the needs of your group rather just trying to make things easy on yourself and you're going to end up neglecting other duties trying to regain that lost MP.

"You said my race wasn't as good so you are stupid!" - Face reality. Other races can be played, but the simple fact is that they won't be as effective if all things are equal. Saying an Elvaan RDM can use astral rings is a self-defeating argument since a hume could too. Throwing +STR/DEX/HP equipment on a Taru will never bring them up to par with the melee capabilities of a Hume or a Mithra. Playing as a Galka ... well, lets just say it's not that smart.

"I want to play my way so neener!" - Go for it. You won't be as effective though. Have a blast and keep in mind you'll be a desperation invite once you get to higher levels. People know who is best and who sucks, believe me. This goes for people with gimped equipment too.

"RDM is adaptable so I can play different ways!" - Yes, and you can also play a dark knight like it was a black mage, but why would you want to? Again, you're going to be more ineffective doing it differently.

"<insert sub here> is also good! WOAR! I R UNIQUE!!!" - No it's not. Kids with down syndrome are unique too but you probably don't want to have that do you?

"Blah blah cookie cutter blah blah ... " - Ugly cookies are ugly. Cookies with motor oil in the dough suck. Play how you want but it won't make you special, except in the liberal definition of the word.

"WAR sub ROCKS! It is l33+!" - Wait until you're out of Elshimo and get back to me. If you still don't understand why it isn't as good as other subs there probably isn't any point debating the issue since you obviously don't understand the job at all.

"The class says MAGE so don't fight" - Historically red mages have always been quasimelee in all final fantasy games. Because Summoners don't have MAGE in their name does that mean they shouldn't cast spells? Same with DRKs, PLDs, or BRDs ... explain that to them next time they cast spells. Enough with the infantile semantics already please. There is a reason our AF enhances our melee performance: we are designed to be able to fight as well as cast. We are the game's one true hybrid class.

Anyway, enjoy and put this to use. I fully expect this to get rated down into oblivion like anything else that makes sense on these boards. Rate it up if you find it useful to counteract the drooling masses please.

Further, if anyone has any real life information on RDM/BRD I'd love to hear it ... theorists need not apply please.

Red Mage 102: Subjobs and You

Lets face it: without a subjob you can never perform up to the same standard as someone who has one even if all of your stats were the same. While some stat variances do occur (and some are mighty important) the true difference between these jobs are in their skills. Your role in a party will revolve around your subjob more than anything, as your subjob will highlight and enhance a subsection of our voluminous abilities allowing us to excel in various things that our parties (or selves in solo situations) need the most.

Without futher ado, on to the meat of the matter.

*** RDM/BLM ***

This is the most common and widely accepted combination at all levels in the game for multiple reasons.

Advantages:

1) Outstanding INT levels. This makes emergency situations easier to handle. The higher your INT is the more likely your sleep, bind, and gravity will land with full effect. If unprepared, a resisted sleep spell can mean a world of hurt for red mages of all levels and races.

2) Outstanding utility spells: i.e. Warp, Drain, and Aspir. Warp is obvious: many use RDM/BLM for subjob purposes even when soloing for no other reason than a quick ride home ... I do it myself all the time even if I have other subjobs that would be more useful for the task at hand. Drain is one of the most efficient healing spells in the game at higher DARK skill levels and has the added bonus of injuring your prey ... talk to your favorite DRK if you don't understand this yet (most lower level players don't use this after initial experimentation due to it, quite frankly, sucking at low skill and never give it another chance later in the game). Aspir is a conditional use spell: the enemy must have a non-empty MP pool for this to work. Most classes of enemies have no MPs meaning that this is a trial and error spell. By and large, **** Crawlers, melee Beastmen, Mandragoras, Bees, Flies, Bats, and Raptors have no MP pool for you to drain. Good targets include Crabs, Beetles, mage Beastmen, Worms, and Elementals to name a few. Using this spell correctly can give you a massive boost in MPs per battle though if your INT isn't high or your dark skill is low you may face a large percentage of resists (you normally only drain the cost of the spell on resists ... if you lose the cost of the spell the enemy probably has no MPs to drain).

3) Party safety spells: i.e. Escape. If I don't trust the BLM or there is no BLM and we are fighting in a dungeon area I will sub BLM for this spell alone. As a general rule BLMs are known to panic in emergencies since they are the juiciest and weakest member of the group, and many will hesitate when called upon to use Escape. Even if they do their casting time will be double yours: consider that before using another subjob.

4) Outstanding MPs. With the exception of SMN this is as good as it gets.

5) Acceptable melee stats. While this seems odd you will have more dexterity (accuracy) than by subbing SMN. Consider this carefully depending on the mob you face. At level 60 this amounts to only 2-3 DEX points, but that alone can be the difference between hitting or missing most of your attacks. STR is equal to what a SMN sub would provide.

6) Debuff bonanza. With the inclusion of the elemental debuffs, you are the most powerful debuffer in the game bar none. No other subjob can add as much variety in your methods of disabling an enemy as RDM/BLM.

7) Fun with farming. Have you ever seen other mages with trains of 80-100 mobs following behind them parading through a dungeon? While BLMs have much more punch with their AOE spells a RDM main is much more survivable to the constant intake of damage as any other class when facing lower level enemies. Phalanx and stoneskin in tandem will make most "too weak" enemies do 0 damage to you for phenomenal lengths of time ... this allows you to slowly burn them to the ground with your AOE spells. Any RDM that farms lowbie dungeons such as Giddeus or Palborough knows and appreciates this, and even in higher dungeons such as Davoi and Giddeus you can have some real fun farming mobs en masse.

8) Elemental Seal. Not only is this a fun tool to ensure a magic burst doesn't get resisted, but can ensure that whatever debuff or status effect (i.e. sleep) you use will have a better chance of landing. Putting an add that is 14 levels higher than you to sleep is something that will always make your day.

9) Conserve MP. Occassionally your spells will come in at half cost ... meh. Most people have tested this to about a 7.5% savings over time.

Disadvantages:

1) Lower strength and dexterity. A WHM/DRK/NIN sub will give you small boosts to your power and accuracy over a BLM subjob. This will make a minimal difference in regular party play (1/3 of a mithkabob effect), but in solo play it can make a more dramatic difference. Most people don't notice a real difference, but it amounts to about a 10-15% damage output difference for those three jobs using identical equipment.

What this means:

If you want to be the ultimate enfeebler then go for it. Get to know your elemental debuffs well and use them to make a massive difference in battle. With your utility spells and large MP reserve you are more able to fend for yourself than certain other subjobs, and even with hampered STR and DEX you will find that you can still participate fine in melee combat. All and all, this is the most effective and commonly used subjob for Red Mages in regular party play.

*** RDM/WHM ***

This is another commonly used subjob, but is used much less once you hit the early 30s and start leaving the newbie training grounds. Due to the general lack of WHMs in those areas this job combination finds much more use there but its effectiveness dwindles over time.

Advantages:

1) Status ailment repair. This is THE reason to use this combination. In parties without a WHM or WHM sub somebody is going to have to have poisana, paralayna, silena, viruna, and cursna available or things could get very ugly. While some of the more exotic repairs like Stona aren't going to ever be available to you and others are going to come late in your career, they are going to be needed nonetheless. Having this subjob available can be the one thing that can get you a group or leave you at the AH looking at the things you want to buy next level.

2) -ga spells. Your enhancing skill is top notch. Sharing this with your party in the form of barspells can easily turn the tide in battles. Similarly, having curaga available is the swiftest way of emergency healing after AOEs or to simply wake your group up if a sleepga gets through. Having Protectra and Shellra is NOT an advantage though, since you will only be using half-level protection spells on your party. I dare you to try to explain to your tank why he's only getting Protect II instead of Protect IV ... odds are he'll bash your head in with his axe for being lazy.

3) Enhanced MND. Lets face it: many of our debuffs are MND based. Slow, Dia, and Paralyze all depend on a high MND stat in order to land and do their job effectively. This also enhances some of your healing, though this will usually only be seen in your highest level (emergency) Cure spell.

4) Divine Seal. Most use this in conjunction with Convert to use the minimum MP possible after conversion to heal up. While it can be used in other (emergency) situations this is a powerful use of this skill.

5) Good MPs. While you're not quite as high as the BLM sub (though this isn't a big difference by no means) you lose a small bit of MP while gaining a small bit of HP.

6) Combat effectiveness: you get more STR and more DEX making your melee attacks hit slighly harder than with a BLM or SMN sub. This is most noticable on easier solo prey than in parties however.

Disadvantages:

1) Fun with farming. Since you have no effective AOE capability with this combination you will have to melee mobs one at a time like all the other classes.

2) Fewer debuff options. You can't keep up with the effectiveness of a BLM sub for debuffing due to the lack of elemental debuffs and the following:

3) Lower INT. You have lower INT than either BLM or SMN sub. This means your emergency spells have a higher chance of resistance (sleep/bind/gravity).

4) Difficult gameplay. While you are the unrivalled master of party support in this combination you will find your plate is packed heavily. I personally despise playing this combination (along with many other RDMs I know) due to this one reason: if we are busy actively doing one thing we aren't actively doing another that fits into the general RDM role. It's hard to re-enfeeble the enemy if you're fixing status effects on your party and trying to keep them standing at the same time ... there is so much casting that even with Fast Cast 2 from your AF3 you will find it difficult to keep up due to the sheer amount of spellcasting at times. Lets face it: this is hard to do right. While rewarding, many just don't find it an enjoyable thing to do. For someone who enjoys the challenge though, you're going to love what you get here.

What this means:

If you are in a party with a competent WHM then there is no reason to sub WHM in party outside of the slight added melee bonus. In a party consisting of dual red mages or a RDM/BRD/BLM combination, however, the availability of this subjob will be of immense value to your party. While it is generally less effective in performing our primary calling (enfeebling) it gives us a tremendous boost in our group enhancement and healing abilities. This is why you typically won't see many RDM/WHM combinations once you reach the 40s and they will almost die out in the 50s. Usually the only time you will find these on search post 40 (when the elemental debuffs come into play) is if the person is already in a party since this sub was the reason they were brought in.

*** RDM/SMN ***

The third subjob in the holy trinity is Summoner. Of all the subjobs this gives the fewest options but can potentially be one of the most rewarding. I caution you though: this job gives almost no benefits in either party or solo play until level 50/25.

Advantages:

1) Unholy MPs. You want MPs? You've got MPs. The boost is phenomenal.

2) Autorefresh. You want MPs? You've got MPs. 4MP/tick after refresh makes you stand up a lot longer in party and solo play. This is particularly valuable when fighting mobs with weak weapons (drawn out battles) to train weapon skills or in parties in which you will serve as primary healer.

3) Blinkga. You want MPs? This will make up for that MP boost and autorefresh if you use it effectively. At the cost of one Cure IV you can protect everyone in your group from three hits for up to ten minutes. This isn't that wonderful as a way to blink your tank regularly in battle (especially considering the 60 second cooldown) but when used during pulls or in link risk areas to good effect can be the difference between life and death for your party. Also, in fuidama rich parties that have one or more SATA combos going off this can save your group in excess of nine hits in one skillchain ... that is alot of HP saved for what turns into not a lot of MP.

4) Balanced INT/MND. While not as high as either the BLM or WHM subs in their respective categories it is balanced so that there are no weak spots. This is wonderful for people that use both sides of the enfeebling tree constantly.

5) Link control. Pets make good things to throw at enemies. While they only last a few blows, it can be enough to save a member of your group allowing them to escape to the zone wall. This is very hard to do if you aren't paying attention to everything and leaves you with a high risk of death if it goes wrong, but on the flipside can mean the difference between life or death.

6) Pulling. If you can master carbuncle mob fishing (believe it or not it has not been nerfed, but rather has been tweaked a bit ... you can find out more in the SMN forums) you can eliminate links while pulling.

Disadvantages:

1) Limited spell list: you will have neither black or white mage specialty spells limiting both your enfeebling abilities and your support abilities. This can be a high price to pay if you don't have a WHM or BLM in your party with you, though with a BRD some of these issues can be overcome via their skills ... and the 7MP/tick you can regen after level 56.

2) Limited utility list: you have no warp, escape, drain, or aspir. This right here is a killing blow for many wannabe RDM/SMNs.

3) Limited melee skills: the DEX you lose compared to a BLM sub is usually just enough for a Hume to miss rather than hit. This will be much less of a concern for the Mithras out there, though they won't be recieving a STR bonus either. I find it takes quite a bit more melee oriented gear for me to achieve decent melee performance with this combination (Hume perspective). Other than in the case of Mithras, this only will get worse for the other races.

4) Misunderstanding. This is not a common subjob by any means. Expect a lot of odd comments and outright rejection of it. People that build groups that don't take your strengths and weaknesses into account can severely hamper the party since you will have a much more limited range of abilities available.

What this means:

You are the unrivalled master of longevity in this combo. Especially in quest or NM circumstances you will find that your extra MP related staying power will make an immense difference. At the same time, the limited scope of your abilities can shrink the number of options you have available to you. This job is best used in a RDM/WHM/BLM trio since you can count on the others to do the duties you normally would have performed through your subjob. Also, in fuidama heavy parties this combination can mean the world. Once you learn to use Aerial Armor to your parties best benefit you will be a force to be reckoned with and will further enhance your party's ability to chain enemies. Bear in mind, however, that there are many sacrifices that come with this job combo both magical and physical.

*** RDM/DRK ***

This is the **** version of RDM/BLM. This is mostly seen between levels 40-50 for one reason alone: Aspir.

Advantages:

1) Aspir. You get it ten levels early. Depending on what you are hunting this can almost make up for your loss of MPs.

2) Melee performance. This gets you more STR than any other rational combination. Look forward to an additional 15% damage compared to a RDM/BLM and the availability of additional weapon skills.

3) Fun with farming: On more powerful mobs in a small 2-3 man party the addition of extra WS can assist in renkei killing.

Disadvantages:

1) Smaller MP pool: this is a harsh tradeoff for a slight MP gain, but with Aspir post-40 on mobs that are susceptable to it this can be overcome nicely.

2) Fun with farming: The only AOE you will have left is on your dagger at 125 skill (Cyclone). Unfortunately in these cases extra damage from your weapon does not increase your productivity making this unsuitable for mass AOE farming.

3) Death to debuffs: like other subs you lose the elemental debuffs offered by BLM making this especially unsuitable after level 50 when aspir can be used through RDM/BLM.

4) Limited utility list: with a complete lack of utility spells you have nowhere near the options of either a BLM or WHM sub.

What this means:

While not completely gimped in any way, this subjob only has limited use during certain periods of your RDM career: namely from levels 40-49. In almost all circumstances the benefits of a BLM subjob will eclipse the short and small benefits of a DRK subjob.

*** RDM/NIN ***

This is perhaps the most useful melee subjob due to its survivability in combat and how it enhances your melee performance especially via enspells with dual wield.

Advantages:

1) Fun with enspells: once you achieve dual wield 2 you can look forward to a 20-50% increase in damage output depending on your subjob due to enspells. On mobs you already can do decent (40-50 damage) damage to this will not be nearly as noticable.

2) Fun with ninjitsu: Utse Ichi can be used in conjunction with chainspell making you an invincible tank/healer/nuketank during emergencies. The rest of the ninjitsu skills will almost never land post 50, however. Using Utse with blink/stone/phalanx/aquaveil can give you the ability in normal circumstances to stay alive even in the most brutal circumstances.

3) Fun with TP gain: dual 150 delay daggers and cyclone or energy drain can make this a potent AOE damage or MP draining combination. This can greatly overcome the drop in MP you will suffer from this job.

4) Melee performance. With additional DEX and STR you will hit more often and strike harder when you do. Like DRK, this isn't a large difference and isn't enough to justify the subjob alone but can come in handy in a mage heavy party.

5) Fun with farming: You can potentially gain 100 TP in 22 seconds allowing you to butcher large amounts of mobs with AOE weapon skills using 150 delay daggers. Further, this subjob also works nicely for solo play on higher level mobs.

6) Ninja stealth: great for doing solo runs for quests or missions ... assuming you don't like using chainescape. If your sneak drops at the wrong time this can potentially save you.

7) Unkillable tank: once you get Utse Ni at level 74 in combination with blink/stone/phalanx/aquaveil you are unkillable. With the assistance of somebody that can drop hate on you (thieves are your friend) you can tank even the most powerful of HNMs with ease.

Disadvantages:

1) Death to debuffs: see DRK ... but you lose aspir and drain this way as well.

2) Smaller MP pool: if you can pull off fast energy drain WS then this can be overcome nicely, but on mobs without MP pools this can really hurt.

3) Limited utility list: your only utility spell is ninja invisibility ... otherwise you are screwed.

What this means:

For solo play this is a very acceptable combination. For quests and missions, particularly in an alliance, this can pay off immensely allowing you the ability to spam spells without fear from retribution due to your large stack of shadows. In party play this isn't the best choice unless you are specifically going to be used as a trick buddy or you already have somebody available to backup some of the abilities you would normally be using (BRD/BLM/etc). For elvaan players in particular the MP loss will seriously hurt, but it will also allow them the ability to connect with melee more often. The tradeoff is a judgement call, and one that should be made by your party rather than you. Do not count on this to be your only subjob or you will find yourself gimped in most party play.

*** RDM/THF ***

Advantages:

1) Fun with farming: Gilfinder and TH1 ... enough said.

2) Fun with hate control. If your party is desperate for hate control and all your mage duties can be backed up then consider this for some SATA action on your tank. Realistically, you won't find this as more than a rarity.

Disadvantages:

1) Lower mage stats: you lose out in the holy trifecta of INT, MND, and MPs for greater gilmaking performance. Is it really worth it?

2) No utilities: you will bring no specialties to your parties outside of minor hate control.

What this means:

Use it to farm and then leave it at home. Really, this doesn't take alot of thought.

*** RDM/WAR ***

Advantages:

1) Provoke: this will assist you in mage tanking ... cure provokes are expensive.

2) Extra weapon skills: you'll receive upgrades to a few of your weapon skills, most notably red lotus and vorpal blade.

3) Slightly enhanced melee: you will hit a little more often and a little harder.

Disadvantages:

1) Gimped mage stats: you lose out in the holy trifecta of INT, MND, and MPs for greater tanking performance. Is it really worth it?

2) No utilities: other than provoke, there is nothing here that will significantly aid you. Defender is all well and good, but the point of a RDM tank is to take no damage at all most of the time.

What this means:

If you have a situation where you need a tank that holds up better than a PLD (NMs or such) in a short party configuration this may work, otherwise ... don't do it as the slight melee benefit will never outweigh the loss you will suffer magically.

*** RDM/SAM ***

Advantages:

1) Fun with farming: with a 150 delay dagger you will be able to spam WS like a mad dog.

Disadvantages:

2) See Warrior: even worse than WAR, you don't even have provoke to mage tank things.

What this means:

If you are farming massive amounts of low level monsters and you want to spam Cyclone then this is a very nice subjob to use. If you ever use this in a group, however, you will be gimping yourself in the worst way possible.

Red Mage 201: The Ascent To Godhood

There are certain tricks covered briefly in RDM 101 that will allow you to perform as if you were actually 3-5 levels higher than your current level. This is primarily accomplished by having multiple pieces of equipment available for various uses. Many people scoff at this considering it much too difficult to constantly switch equipment in battle or depending on use. There is one massive trick that will allow you to overcome this difficulty, however: proper usage of macros.

Now, many have asked what kind of macros they should use. This is a very untouchable subject since everybody will have their own preference to how their macro bars are ordered and this will change dramatically as new spells are dropped into your repertoire. I will give some examples and explanations, however, that will allow you to enhance your character’s performance regardless of level in this short guide.

Be mindful that pulling off certain aspects of this will take extreme attention to detail and will probably be too difficult for some. On the other hand, certain aspects of this method will take no additional input in order to pull off correctly. To start, I will list the macros on my macro bars as a level 66 RDM as EXAMPLES of certain things you can do to tweak your performance to godliness.

Alt Bar 1

Alt-1
/equip Ear1 “Morion Earring”
/ma Blind <t>

Alt-2
/p Bio II being applied. Do not recast!!!
/equip Ear1 “Morion Earring”
/ma “Bio II” <t>

Alt-3
/p Dia II being applied. Do not cast Bio!!!
/ma “Dia II” <t>

Alt-4
/equip Neck “Enfeebling Torque”
/ma Slow <t>

Alt-5
/equip Neck “Enfeebling Torque”
/ma Silence <t>

Alt-6
/equip Neck “Enfeebling Torque”
/ma Paralyze <t>

Alt-7
/equip Neck “Elemental Torque”
/ma Frost <t>

Alt-8
/equip Neck “Elemental Torque”
/ma Rasp <t>

Alt-9
/equip Neck “Elemental Torque”
/ma Drown <t>

Alt-0
/equip Neck “Elemental Torque”
/ma Shock <t>

Alt Bar 2

Alt-1
/equip Neck “Elemental Torque”
/wait .2
/equip Ear1 “Moldavite Earring”
/ma “Stone III” <t>

Alt-2
/equip Neck “Elemental Torque”
/wait .2
/equip Ear1 “Moldavite Earring”
/ma “Water II” <t>

Alt-3
/equip Neck “Elemental Torque”
/wait .2
/equip Ear1 “Moldavite Earring”
/ma “Fire II” <t>

Alt-4
/equip Neck “Elemental Torque”
/wait .2
/equip Ear1 “Moldavite Earring”
/ma “Blizzard II” <t>

Alt-5
/equip Neck “Elemental Torque”
/wait .2
/equip Ear1 “Moldavite Earring”
/ma “Thunder II” <t>

Alt-0
/toss motion
/wait .5
/em smacks <t> with her pimp hand

Ctrl Bar 1

Ctrl-1
/ma Drain <t>

Ctrl-2
/ma Aspir <t>

Ctrl-3
/p _|_(^_^)_|_ <call14)
/ma Dispel <t>

Ctrl-4
/equip Ear1 “Morion Earring”
/ma Gravity <t>

Ctrl-5
/ma Enthunder <me>
/hurray motion

Ctrl-6
/ma Enaero <me>
/hurray motion

Ctrl-7
/ma Enblizzard <me>
/hurray motion

Ctrl-8
/equip main “Dark Staff”
/wait .2
/equip ring1 “Astral Ring”
/wait .2
/equip ring2 “Astral Ring”

Ctrl-9
/equip main “Mythic Wand +1”
/wait .2
/equip sub “Gold Buckler”

Ctrl-0
/equip main “Hornetneedle”
/wait .2
/equip sub “Balance Buckler”
/wait .2
/equip ring1 “Sun Ring”

Ctrl Bar 2

Ctrl-1
/point
/p I see a <t>! <call14>

Ctrl-2
/p Current TP: <tp> MP: <mpp> <mp>

Ctrl-3
/p Enhancing melee performance …
/equip Waist “Life Belt”
/wait .2
/equip Back “Rep. Army Mantle”
/wait .2
/equip Ring2 “Sun Ring”

Ctrl-4
/p Enhancing magical abilities …
/equip Waist “Ryl.Kgt. Belt”
/wait .2
/equip Back “Red Cape +1”

Ctrl-7
/ma Enfire <me>
/hurray motion

Ctrl-8
/ma Enwater <me>
/hurray motion

Ctrl-9
/ma Enstone <me>
/hurray motion

Ctrl-0
/targetnpc
/ma Dia <t>

Now that I have all that listed, what exactly does it mean? First off, you will lose .2 seconds on all nukes … in the scheme of things this will not cause any timing difficulties. What you will notice, however, is that every spell cast is optimized for maximum performance. The difficulty in pulling something like this off to perfection is twofold: first you will forsake any and all TP buildup during the course of your party play. Since our weapon skills, by and large, don’t contribute much at later levels to chains (once you start seeing tier 3 renkei) this isn’t a big deal, though it is a harder blow at lower levels when you can participate in tier 1/2 renkeis with ease. Second, you will find yourself optimizing equipment for everything.

An example battle will go something like this:

Puller engages. You stand and hit your wand macro for the initial round of debuffs. Drop the desired debuffs on the target then swap to your weapon macro and engage. After you’re in melee range swap across to your melee performance macro to further enhance your abilities. Continue melee until the renkei is ready: if you are part of the burst crew swap to magic performance at the beginning of the renkei then burst away at the end. Once bursted swap back to melee performance and continue stabbing. If your debuffs wear simply swap back to wand, reapply, then swap back to your weapons (if necessary). At the end of the fight drop your dark staff macro on and rest switching back to magic performance when convenient for the next pull hoping you can get a tick or two in.

Overall, every action you take will be enhanced 3-5 levels in skill due to the proper usage of equipment. In the end you will become a godly red mage for dealing with a slightly bigger headache of keeping the proper equipment up at the proper times.

Notes:

The above is an example for rich level 65 red mages that have collected parts of their torque set: once you get the enhancing torque (enspells/phalanx/stoneskin/blink) and the dark torque (drain/aspir) you can further conditionally enhance your abilities. Even without the above equipment list you can still substitute +INT/MND rings in for torques (the delay from dual swap hurts on these fast casting spells) or remove the dark staff from your resting macro (it’s sole purpose is to allow maximum MP early in the fight then drop those MPs once they are already spent debuffing when you go to melee performance). Further, this can be customized to your race or prey using DEX or INT rings for Elvaan, for example. Before the first fight I will customize the attack macros for the primary prey (using sword or dagger as needed) and put the three most likely enspells on the top row for easier access. Cut/Paste comes in really handy here.

At lower levels there will be much less need for such intense swapping action since there is less equipment available (torques, staff, belts, etc). The above examples will not work as anything more than an idea of things you can do to enhance yourself. Swapping RSE for other gear or changing up rings will still pay off handsomely, however, so using your best judgment to get the best results are advised.

Some have noticed the shield swap: I purposefully do this to take advantage of the added defense to both melee and magical damage while not in a combat role. The extra +3 dark defense has occasionally been the difference between being slept or not. While in combat, however, I prefer the extra accuracy since I usually find myself in parties 3-5 levels higher than me anymore. Again: this is what works for me, though depending on your prey, level, equipment list, and method of play you will find that different combinations will suit you better even at my level.

RDM 202: Mashing Maat

For all the fear of this fight there are a few simple things you can do to virtually ensure success. First, you must get over the fear of the situation: panic is the number one killer in this battle. Second, you must know what you are facing in there. Third, you need to have the proper equipment in order to get this done.

I will be gearing this guide to those who are willing to go the extra mile to save themselves a month of heartache. I will be recommending very nice equipment (i.e. expensive) along with potions. The upside of this is that barring disaster it will be impossible for you to lose.

Preperation:

First, we will be only fighting on Windsday. In order to pull this off you will need as much damage per nuke as you can muster. Second, you will need over 670 MP to pull this off. If you are Elvaan or Galka this guide may be nothing more than a curiousity piece for you, though with the best gear available an Elvaan will be able to achieve this amount of MP. Unfortunately, I don't believe it is possible for a Galka to pull this off. Third, you will need to acquire a Wind Staff, be it by loan or by purchase: I kid you not, this is the most critical piece of equipment you can buy.

When I went in my equipment (Hume F) was as follows:

Wind Staff (Critical)
Phantom Tathlum
Warlock's Chapeau
Elemental Torque (Critical)
Moldavite Earring (Critical)
Morion Earring
Fencer's Earring (Critical)
Warlock's Tabard
Marine F Gloves
Astral Ring x2 (Electrum's may work here)
Eremite's Ring x2 (+3 INT ring ... any will do)
Red Cape +1
Ocean Rope (anything that gives you MP and INT ... most RSE ropes do this)
Warlock's Tights
Custom F Boots (+3 INT ... other gear may suffice for other races)

For food I used a Melon Pie +1 and I brought both a Vile Elixir and Vile Elixir +1 (critical to do this). I ended up with +25/31 INT (varies on rings) inside the arena. A taru would not need this much to do this. An elf would need more.

Method:

First, you will need to make the following macros on your toolbars.

BlinkA:
/ma Blink <me>

BlinkB:
/equip Ring1 "Eremite's Ring +1"
/wait .5
/equip Ring2 "Eremite's Ring +1"
/ma Blink <me>

Stone:
/ma Stoneskin <me>

Diaga:
/targetnpc
/ma Diaga <t>

Dispel:
/targetnpc
/ma Dispel <t>

Chain:
/equip Ring1 "Eremite's Ring +1"
/wait .5
/equip Ring2 "Eremite's Ring +1"
/ja Chainspell <me>
/wait 1
/ma "Aero III" <t>

AeroA:
/targetnpc
/ma "Aero III" <t>

AeroB:
/equip Ring1 "Eremite's Ring +1"
/wait .5
/equip Ring2 "Eremite's Ring +1"
/targetnpc
/p FATALITY!!!
/ma "Aero III" <t>

AeroC:
/equip Ear2 "Fencer's Earring"
/targetnpc
/p Entering the final phase!
/ma "Aero III" <t>

V2:
/equip Ring1 "Astral Ring"
/wait .5
/equip Ring2 "Astral Ring"
/item "Vile Elixir +1" <me>

V1:
/equip Ring1 "Astral Ring"
/wait .5
/equip Ring2 "Astral Ring"
/item "Vile Elixir" <me>

Now, on your macro bars set them up as so:

Bar 1:
BlinkA
Stone
Diaga
Dispel
Chain
AeroA
BlinkA
AeroA
BlinkA
Stone

Bar 2:
V2
BlinkB
Stone
AeroA
Blink
AeroA
Blink
AeroC
V1
AeroB

Method:

Now, what you do is you enter the ring and rush to the battlefield. Literally be holding forward when you enter. Get to the edge of the circle and hit the first two macros. Once you have your two buffs on hit the next macro: Diaga. Then Dispel. He should only have got off one buff if you did this right, maybe two. Once you've dispelled move on to chainspell. This is the one moment of decision you get: if you nuke hits for under 350 damage then dispel him again because he snuck in Shell IV. If not then just use every macro in order from left to right on each
bar in order and you will win. Literally, it is that easy. With my Wind Staff and +INT I was landing nukes at 387 and 423 depending on the level of resistance. Just hit the macro until it fires and once it starts start mashing the next. Keep doing that until you are at the end then mash the last one until he cries uncle.

How this works is babying you to the point of his SP which will come after your third nuke with that equipment. At that point you buff and pop a V+1 then rebuff for safety before going into full attack mode. Each nuke at this point is alternated with blink to prevent him from hitting you. Toward the end before your final elixer your SP is almost out so you can't afford to blink anymore. This is why the Fencer's Earring is critical: if he lands a strong nuke on you each nuke thereafter will be severely gimped letting you finish your last barrage and get your
win. The last macro should be spammed once you reach it until he gives up and dies. The ring swaps are critical to ensure maximum damage. You will always have your astrals on to get max MP back from your elixers while having your +INT rings on whenever you are casting. Doing this will give you a large amount of both free MP and damage during this fight.

There are only two possible ways to lose this fight. The first is if he uses multiple blinks in his chainspell. Your diaga will take out one shadow from each blink only leaving you with too many shadows to overcome since two of your nukes will be absorbed by the other shadows. The second is if he uses his chainspell to cure himself. On my sixth attempt I delivered over 2900 HP of damage and he was still standing ... this is after two were blinked off and 5 cure IVs were cast. That shot didn't go well. From research, either of these things only happen maybe 1/20
fights. One Cure IV or one blink is usually to be expected in his chainspell but rarely both. Either way, if you just get one he will die. In my final fight with him he still blinked up in his chainspell but I killed him in only six landed nukes while two stripped his blink along with the opening diaga shot.

Other than the judgement call on the second dispel (rarely will this ever be needed) you should not EVER deviate rom this casting order. Doing so will cause you to lose precious SP time (once it runs out you will die). If you follow this recipe exactly even if you take some damage during the fight you will be perfectly safe to continue. I never went below 75% HP during this fight and he pulled out every trick in the book other than Asuran Fists. Further, this method set the record on Fairy server by almost a minute's difference.

Anyway, make sure you have over 670 MP going in and as much int as possible (don't do this with under around +25 INT as a Hume or Mithra ... less for Taru and more for Elvaan--if you're obscenely rich). Post on this thread on how this works out for you and happy hunting!

Haggan's Note: Edited to Sticky

Edited, Wed May 5 10:58:21 2004 by Haggan

Edited, Sun May 16 01:48:20 2004 by airspirit

Edited, Mon May 17 16:06:29 2004 by airspirit

Edited, Tue May 18 22:08:20 2004 by airspirit

Edited, Mon May 24 12:56:36 2004 by airspirit

Edited, Fri Jun 4 21:42:42 2004 by airspirit

Edited, Fri Jul 9 01:50:22 2004 by airspirit

Edited, Fri Jul 9 01:57:36 2004 by airspirit

Edited, Mon Oct 25 12:50:53 2004 by Kaolian
#2 May 04 2004 at 7:01 PM Rating: Decent
Scholar
***
1,314 posts
great info airspirit, i only skimmed through it but you're on the money from what i've read. I'm at work and i don't have enough time to fully read it and digest it right now ;)
____________________________
FFXI : Valor LS
75 blm / 68brd / 38whm / 30rng / 75 mnk / 37war / 53 thf / 37nin / 12rdm rank 7
WOW
85 rogue 85 hunter 85 shaman 85 priest 85 mage
#3 May 04 2004 at 7:08 PM Rating: Decent
**
422 posts
( Good job! )
____________________________
Jack of all trades, Master of Enfeeble

75 RDM Main
75 BLM Alternate Main

+ Various sub jobs

91 Alchemy +2
#4 May 04 2004 at 7:12 PM Rating: Decent
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1,314 posts
imho this should be stickied and have "IDIOTS NOOBS READ THIS FFS" added to the title. But i doubt any noobs will get past the first couple paragraphs before they skip to the bottom rate him down and post some idiotic posts. :P
____________________________
FFXI : Valor LS
75 blm / 68brd / 38whm / 30rng / 75 mnk / 37war / 53 thf / 37nin / 12rdm rank 7
WOW
85 rogue 85 hunter 85 shaman 85 priest 85 mage
#5 May 04 2004 at 7:51 PM Rating: Decent
Scholar
*
57 posts
That is easily one of the best RDM guides I've seen. A few questions:

1. Right now my dagger skill is crap...around 40 to be exact. Is it worth my time and gil to level it up and buy a dagger?

2. You mentioned using both a Knight's Sword +1 and a Crimson Blade around level 50, along with a wand. When should the Crimson Blade be used instead of the K.S.?

3. Which subjob do you use most often in EXP parties?

4. Which Elemental Staves do you think are worth buying for a RDM?

EDIT: 1 last thing; If any higher lvl RDMs want to check my gear (link below), any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks! ^_^

Edited, Tue May 4 21:10:10 2004 by GilgameshX
#6 May 04 2004 at 7:55 PM Rating: Decent
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i personally have 110ish dagger skill and 120ish sword skill, and i rarely melee in exp parties(i fall into his tarutaru category of not being a front liner hehe.. i started to get comfortable doing it until exping in gustav and i got gobbie bombed for 710 damage while i had only 690ish max hp.) i wasn't even meleeing i just happened to be too close, but after that i have stopped trying to melee all together, it just put a sour taste in my mouth.

i plan on trying to work my dagger and sword up eventually.. but it's not high on my priority of things to do.
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#7 May 04 2004 at 8:32 PM Rating: Decent
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airspirit,i posted this on killing ifrit, hope you don't mind. posted it here:

http://ffxi.killvoid.com/forums.php?m=posts&q=5156&n=last#bottom
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FFXI : Valor LS
75 blm / 68brd / 38whm / 30rng / 75 mnk / 37war / 53 thf / 37nin / 12rdm rank 7
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#8 May 04 2004 at 8:38 PM Rating: Good
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If you only have 40 skill then go to yhoator jungle and stab away at mandragoras with a platoon dagger with haste on. That will power you to 75 in will under an hour. Then go to garlaige and you should be able to get it up to 100 on bats there. CN will get you to around 115 on worker crawlers and soldiers will take you to 135 or so though you need to be extremely careful doing this at your level. If you can get it to 135 then using a life belt and balance buckler should give you enough of a boost to use it in groups ... it will skyrocket on beetles and crabs you will be fighting (mobs that a dagger are best on anyway at your level).

As for staves the earth staff is good for when you need to tank (rare but happens), the ice staff enhances your elemental skill (very nice for bursting and killing Maat), and then I believe it is the dark staff that enhances your resting by +10/tick ... I'd probably get the ice staff first followed by the dark staff and grab an earth staff if you feel like it.

I probably use BLM the most of all of my subs. I refuse to use WHM unless I am desperate for a party since it just doesn't seem to sit well with me ... personal choice, I guess. If I'm not using BLM I usually use SMN for the extra regen and blinkga ... NIN is rare for me to use, and it is only called for on questing or on very soft targets (RDM/NIN with an enspell, dual 150 delay daggers, and haste can do very nice damage ... about 50 damage every 1.7 seconds or so on VTs at level 60). Overall I find BLM the most useful due to my playstyle ... I prefer not to party with black mages at this level due to their relative weakness to heavy melee so it leaves the elemental debuffing to me. If there is a BLM in the party I usually sub SMN for efficiency's sake.

As for your gear you have much the same stuff I did at your level. I was using steel or raptor leggins (unsure), astrals, and a Crimson Blade (most of the time) at your level along with a Gold Hairpin rather than the Valk Mask (very nice, lol) and a gaia doublet, but otherwise was pretty close. Astral Rings should get put on your shopping list: the 10 MP isn't much to your main but means 50 MP to your subs when you're levelling them. Otherwise you seem pretty set on your way to getting your AF (and cashing in on your old gear to blow on spells, lol).

If I were you, Smurv, I'd powerlevel my dagger skill to 155 down in CN on exos and start levelling that bad boy up. I've only had one bomb related death (1 HP more than my max in Terrigan) ... did you have your barfire up or was it the WHMs? After that experience I'll never trust a WHM's spell again ... most never level their enhancing up. Anyway, as a taru since your strength is gimped a fast dagger would probably be your best bet ... who cares if you're hitting for 0's if you're pounding +16 enspell damage into the thing at a fast clip? Nothing you'll be fighting in the near future (unless you go somewhere crazy) will use AOEs ... raptors, coeurls, crawlers, and such will leave you free from worry on that end. I do agree, though: goblins leave me a mite worried if there isn't a DRK or BLM in the group. Bombs HURT.

As for when the crimson blade should be used: if you are in a PT and find that the extra MP comes in handy and you're doing fair to middlin' damage slap it on. Another nice trick is to leave it on when you fill your MPs and after casting your initial debuffs swap over before entering melee for a free 10 MP. The third use is if you find yourself using a bit of elemental magic and you're making contact alot (gaining TP) you may not want to lose your TP by swapping to a wand (swapping weapons empties your TP bar) before nuking ... if you are a swap renkei member then you will want to keep your crimson blade at hand. If you don't find yourself using quite a bit of elemental magic and your elemental debuffs are landing fine then you'll want to stick with your damage sword.

edit: nevermind, I'm an idiot, lol.

Edited, Tue May 4 21:51:43 2004 by airspirit
#9 May 04 2004 at 9:28 PM Rating: Decent
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Thanks alot AirSpirit.

As your guide suggested, I decided to buy a Gaia Doublet. Astral Rings are my next planned purchase (wish me luck, the Mask cleaned me out lol).

I asked about the subjob because I always sub BLM in parties (WHM is lvl 9, SMN lvl 8, and I hate leveling both >.<) and I wanted to see how often those other subs came into play.

Now off to Yhoator...
#10 May 04 2004 at 9:59 PM Rating: Decent
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i leveled dagger in yhoater 20-100 in like an hour and a half.. the other 10 points or so, i forget what my skill is off the top of my head, i got while helping friends with AF coffer key.
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#11 May 04 2004 at 10:13 PM Rating: Decent
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btw airspirit i didn't realise you are on fairy ;) i'll have to look you up sometime.
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#12 May 04 2004 at 10:19 PM Rating: Decent
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Wow. Thanks for the post. ^^

After reading this, the thought occurred to me to switch from Taru to Hume or Mithra. If getting the three main caster classes to 18 hadn't taken me as long as it has, I might would since I plan on RDM being my main, but I also like being able to play BLM or WHM in a pinch too. I've been trying to read up on the mage classes, particularly RDM, as much as possible and this has been the first guide I can remember that suggested melee was a good idea.

So far I've stuck to enfeebling, backup healing, and then nuking. Even at my level, I can see the differences between BLM nukes and my own, so it doesn't suprise me that this becomes more pronounced. However, I'm aiming to sub WHM and I perfer the backup heal role more than tossing damage. (When I'm in a damage mood, I'll just switch to BLM, anyway.)

Excuse me if I missed it somewhere, but for Taru RDM, would you recommend even trying to develop the melee side through buying expensive gear and so forth, or should I stick to my casting? (What I plan on doing)

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Blueberrie / 30 Warrior / 23 Dark Knight / 18 Red Mage / 16 Monk / 7 Thief / 2 Black Mage

#13 May 04 2004 at 10:24 PM Rating: Decent
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i'd recommend staying pure caster, but that's my preference heh. I'm coming from 3 years of playing a runemaster in daoc, i sort of have caster in my blood. Decided when i got this game i would go for a support caster and whm didnt appeal to me, all you did was heal ;) so i went rdm.

as for keeping melee skills up, i'd say try to.. but don't make it a high priority. You are a mage first and foremost. Melee skills come fourth in line after enfeebling, healing, enhancing. imho.. elemental/dark tied being 5th priority in being capped.

Edited, Tue May 4 23:25:11 2004 by Smurv
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#14 May 04 2004 at 10:52 PM Rating: Good
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I wouldn't necessarily re-roll your character, but you may want to consider using dagger skills more than sword skills since the fast enspell damage is less reliant on strength. A platoon dagger will be your friend as a taru ... or a nice stack of meat chiefkabobs. Regardless of race if you are standing and aren't facing a possible one hit kill situation like smurv described above, you should always be swinging. All damage is good damage.
#15 May 04 2004 at 11:11 PM Rating: Decent
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Awesome guide. Rate up! At your fishing level, is it possible to rely on that for most of your income? Do you still farm?
#16 May 04 2004 at 11:17 PM Rating: Decent
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Good Job "airspirit" while some other guilde tells rdm to forget about meleeling or F*** the whm .. you teaches the real thing we should be doing while using rdm... good job


1) i using a evlaan rdm .. at lv 22 and dont seems to be performing well .. any suggestion ..

#17 May 05 2004 at 12:09 AM Rating: Good
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By the way, I don't go by airspirit on Fairy ... I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to figure out who I am though however I ask you don't post it here. Fishing gets me good gil, but I've found better ways to get it faster. Since only 1-2 people can do this per server though, I won't be posting it here or I'd cut my own throat. Questing income normally nets me a good 40K a day though while levelling my weapon skills (mercenary for hire). One of my favorite tactics is to train every yagudo on the bottom floor of Oz and then burning them to the ground with AOEs and blaze spikes. With blaze spikes all I have to do is stand there for a few minutes and watch them drop at 30-50g a pop ... not too shabby when you consider that you can do 40-50 of them at a time. Even without the drops it still pays nicely and allows you to work on your weapon skills. If you're really hard up just run up to beaudicine though ... there are six ice elementals that are there almost constantly at the three ponds. By running between them you can farm up to 20-25 clusters an hour at around 1500g a pop ... and if the weather is wrong just fish in the ponds there for icefish for 3-400 gil a pop and catch them in threes with your sabiki rig.

As an elvaan you're going to always have it rough. Get as much +MP gear as you can (hairpin, earrings, astral rings if you can possibly manage it at all) and keep pushing. I don't envy your position, though it is possible, just like playing an elvaan whm is possible ... you just have alot to overcome. It'll get better for a while once you get your RSE. I can guarantee you that you will be bleeding from your ears if and when you face Maat ... your low MP will make this nearly impossible for you to win.
#18 May 05 2004 at 12:21 AM Rating: Decent
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I thought I was the only rdm with a sword fetich (bought my analece 3 levels early ^^;; )

And thanks for the warning about the rk aketon. Ive got better things to do than waste 40k on fashion.
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#19 May 05 2004 at 2:18 AM Rating: Decent
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Thanks for the suggestion .. ^.^ .. looks like i should consider changing another main class .. hmmmm maybe an advance when i hit 30 ^.^
#20 May 05 2004 at 4:08 AM Rating: Decent
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It's rough as an Elvaan Red Mage, however I just hit 41 tonight, and I have to say convert and refresh make a world of difference! It's a new ballgame now! I no longer have to take a knee during a fight, I can be swinging me sword in-between casts now. I mean...wow.... I honestly had no idea convert or refresh would be this godly, but...just...wow... I've leveled from 30 to 41 in 4 nights, I've been playing with a lot of JP parties and they keep inviting me back, so I figure I must be doing something right. Yes Hume is the best for Red Mage, no doubt, however I think Elvaan Red Mage is going to be a very interesting experience, I'm loving the challenge and couldn't image any other class as my serious job. (I'm leveling DRG/DRK as a fun melee job.)

I saw a Galka RDM tonight outside of the mog houses in Lower Jeuno, and he was in full AF gear. If he can do, I sure as **** can.

-Tim
#21 May 05 2004 at 4:46 AM Rating: Decent
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Ya I must say although I don't recall the names there have been some extremely high lvl Galka RDM. They take the role extremely serious with no room for error though. Good guide.
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Grossmond (L60) Undead Mage - Illidan (Retired)
Haratio (L60) Orc Shaman - Illidan (Retired)


"The thing I hate about optimism is that it happens so often, they gave it a name." -Ruby(Squidi.net)

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#22 May 05 2004 at 9:57 AM Rating: Decent
Thank you so much for this post, Airspirit! You totally renewed my faith in being a Red Mage! I’ve been reading a lot of the other posts on here and they made me not want to be a RDM anymore. With all of the talk about not being able to melee in higher levels and becoming a second rate healer and enfeebler. It just made me ask what the point was. But you’ve showed that with the right attitude, the right equipment, and some common sense, we RDMs can rule Vana’ diel! I’m gonna start lvling my BLM tonight and start my long journey to get my pimp hat! Whoo-hoo! Watch out world! Newbie on a mission coming through!
#23 May 05 2004 at 10:22 AM Rating: Decent
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Wow, amazing post.

All of the information is great, useful for me (hit level 45 now...money problems a-plenty).

Now then. What we need to do is get every player on every server to read this. All of a sudden, people will realise that "Hey, RDM SHOULD be in the frontlines, that's why they are given all those spells ^^"

It'll never happen though...


Ratixis, Quetzalcoatl, 45RDM/34WHM
Levelling - 10BLM - Need 37, need 37.
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Ratixis (Hume Male, Quetzalcoatl):
RDM 68 / WHM 40 / BLM 37
Full AF obtained for RDM. WHM AF1 OK.
RDM stuck in static. Levelling BST on the side:
BST 23 / WHM 40 / NIN 30 (Just in case...)
#24 May 05 2004 at 11:26 AM Rating: Decent
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I have ALWAYS seen red mage as a front liner; the ability to use heavier armor than white or black mage and a sword is there for a reason.

Just yesterday I saw a galka run by with full AF, and I cheered him on for the achievement. I'm making it a habit of doing so specifically to galka.

One last note, at level 73, make an effort to grab the crimson set.
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Female Elvaan 90 rdm/(drk, pld, war, blu, dnc)
75 drg/(rdm, blu, war, sam, drk, pld)
90 drk/(sam, blu, rdm, war, dnc)
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#25 May 05 2004 at 11:33 AM Rating: Decent
Anyone know how much Crimson Blade's sell for?? I want to buy one and need to know how much to save... Thanks ahead of time....
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#26 May 05 2004 at 11:54 AM Rating: Good
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25-30K for a crimson blade is common.
#27 May 05 2004 at 11:56 AM Rating: Excellent
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Excellent and well written post. I have a few additions to make post level 65, if you do not mind from what I have seen, in your gear selection:

Necks: Skill Torques (Elemental, Enfeebling, etc) These give +7 skill each to their appropriate skill, which is the equivilent of casting as if you were 2-3 levels higher than you really are. This may not seem like much, but I did experimenting with these, and items like Holy Phial, etc for MND....these are by far the best necks you can get for an experience party, and you can macro swap them back and forth so you use which you need when. You can also macro it back with either the Rank 8 Bastok Neck, Fenrir Torque, or just simply a Spirit Torque/Holy Phial for MP on a Convert. Also, these necks are not very expensive for how powerful they really are, only 100,000 to 200,000 gil a piece and well worth every gil.

Capes: At level 71, the Rainbow and Prism capes become available, think of these as Red Capes on steroids. They not only give you bonus to both MND and INT, they also provide more MP and a very nice MP and HP boost as well. If you can afford the Prism go for it, but the Rainbow is still very good for its cost. I've also been contemplating an Enhancing Mantle for Convert purposes, no stats but +10 MP and + % to it as well is decent, and for a 70 RDM/BLM it results in about +17 MP total. The cost is at MND and INT so it would not be every day wear.

Earrings: I would like to add in the potential for the Enhancing Earring. It is only level 40 usable, but results in +5 both HP AND MP, and is very reasonably costed. I personally like this paired with a Morion and a Phantom Earring. The new Latent effect level 30 earrings are interesting as well, as more information becomes available on these, as some have very potent Latent effects (+30 MP, +5 Enfeebling Skill, etc). But beyond that, Earrings for all jobs are fairly weak and hard to find good ones for.

Rings: Once you pass the 65 level, you can probably start whacking Avatar Primes with parties, I STRONGLY Suggest you do them a few times and pick up their rings. Leviathan's gives +15 to Conserve MP skill, Shiva's +15 Elemental Skill, Garuda's +15 Evasion, Titan's +15 Defense, and Ramuh's +15 Accuracy, but only on their respective days. It may not seem like that much, but these are well worth it.

Swords: Lots of good swords start showing up post level 65, but many are hard as **** to obtain.

Joyeause (Spelling) - Need to kill an NM for it, but is nice for farming resulting in occasional double attacks, also good for skilling up, every extra swing = an extra chance to skill up.

Enhancing Sword - Rare as all hell, but pretty much the pinnacle of red mage swords, Accuracy, Attack, and good ratio all rolled into one with a + to enspell damage.

Analace and Analace +1 - Very good Ratio weapons, and both Red Mage usable, Analace +1 is pretty much the best Damage/Delay ratio weapon a Red Mage can use besides Excalibur, but is beyond rare to find, I have yet to ever see one for sale in the AH.

New sword I dont know the name of - There is a new sword that is now usable by Red Mages at level 73, it has good ratio and stats, and has +18 MP, looks very promising.

Excalibur - If you thought Enhancing sword was rare, don't even think about this one, however it does give access to the final Sword weapon skill.

Staffs: Post level 51, Elemental Staffs become available, these are also very good, and result in some potent abilities. For Red Mages, I believe, Light, Dark and Ice are the most powerful, resulting in + Cure Spell potency, + MP/Tic healed up, and + Elemental Skill. I strongly suggest these to all red mages and to macro them in and out as needed.

Belts: RSE Belts, the level 50 and 70 ones. These are both expensive as all hell...resulting in a ton of gil spent, however these result in a lot of MP and + MND, INT or both...these do come at a cost though, many have - Melee stats in trade, but for some 45 MP is worth a few points of Strength, when you also get + 4 MND and 3 INT...
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#28 May 05 2004 at 11:57 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Anyone know how much Crimson Blade's sell for?? I want to buy one and need to know how much to save... Thanks ahead of time...


Mine was 20k on Phoenix

Edited, Wed May 5 12:57:06 2004 by subvert
#29 May 05 2004 at 1:24 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Thank you so much for this post, Airspirit! You totally renewed my faith in being a Red Mage! I’ve been reading a lot of the other posts on here and they made me not want to be a RDM anymore. With all of the talk about not being able to melee in higher levels and becoming a second rate healer and enfeebler. It just made me ask what the point was. But you’ve showed that with the right attitude, the right equipment, and some common sense, we RDMs can rule Vana’ diel! I’m gonna start lvling my BLM tonight and start my long journey to get my pimp hat! Whoo-hoo! Watch out world! Newbie on a mission coming through!



the general opinion isn't that meleeing as a rdm is bad, it's that subbing a melee JOB is bad.
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FFXI : Valor LS
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#30 May 05 2004 at 2:02 PM Rating: Decent
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Excellant post!!!!

Quote:
the general opinion isn't that meleeing as a rdm is bad, it's that subbing a melee JOB is bad


Yes sir, right on the money. If you keep your skills up you will do fairly good damage without enspells and in my opinion good damage with them. I draw the line on mobs that have disasterous tp moves just because I don't wanna get wacked lol.
#31 May 05 2004 at 2:36 PM Rating: Good
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Aracelt wrote:
Earrings: I would like to add in the potential for the Enhancing Earring. It is only level 40 usable, but results in +5 both HP AND MP, and is very reasonably costed. I personally like this paired with a Morion and a Phantom Earring. The new Latent effect level 30 earrings are interesting as well, as more information becomes available on these, as some have very potent Latent effects (+30 MP, +5 Enfeebling Skill, etc). But beyond that, Earrings for all jobs are fairly weak and hard to find good ones for.


1. It is +5 Elemental Skill.

2. The new BCNM30 Earrings have their Latent Effect activated when you have the proper subjob (as do the new BCNM30 belts). The White Mage subjob earring gives -1 Emnity. The Black Mage Subjob earring gives +5 Elemental Skill. The Summoner subjob earring gives +30 MP (great for non-tarus). The Ninja subjob earring gives +4 Agility. The Thief subjob earring gives +2 Dex. I think that is about all the earrings a Red Mage would be interested in for anything. Oh, the Red Mage subjob earring gives +1 MP/tick when resting (yeah, kinda stinks).

-Drachasor
#32 May 05 2004 at 3:33 PM Rating: Decent
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fyi as you guys can see... i requested this get stickied last night before i went to bed. ;P

thanks alot airspirit.
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#33 May 05 2004 at 3:42 PM Rating: Decent
[quote][/quote]

OK. Gotcha. Thanks for clearing that up for me Smurv!

I think I'm gonna try out BLM as my sub and see how that works. Then when I get past lvl 30, I'll look into SMN as well.

I'd like to (eventually) give every job a little try just to see how they operate so I'll know what I'm talking about to others.

This is my first RPG I've ever played, so all of this is so new to me. (So I guess that makes me a double-newb?) :-) It's a completely different mindset from other games. And it definitely has its own language!

Thanks for your help!

Edited, Wed May 5 16:44:47 2004 by datama

Edited, Wed May 5 16:46:24 2004 by datama
#34 May 05 2004 at 3:46 PM Rating: Decent
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I would wait until after 50 to bother with SMN as a sub. The only benefits to me at level 60+ now is autorefresh and blinkga (both at 25 SMN) ... at 30 the MP difference will be lower and you will have no real benefits from the sub. My two cents.
#35 May 05 2004 at 4:07 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Excalibur - If you thought Enhancing sword was rare, don't even think about this one, however it does give access to the final Sword weapon skill.


According to a Japanese RDM over on the vn boards, Excalibur is the final evolution of the Relic Sword. Each step of the Relic Sword > Glyptic Sword > Dynamis Sword > Caliburn > Excalibur process takes a lot of drops from Dynamis to perform.


EDIT: Link


Edited, Wed May 5 17:11:55 2004 by Scarne
#36 May 05 2004 at 4:49 PM Rating: Excellent
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Well, it's a good post, but I don't think it should be stickied. Too many opinions. To say what race, equipment, and playstyle is best is not fact. Instead of saying "hume is best" I would prefer a stickied guide to have pros and cons, so I would be able to make up my own mind. Although I agree with you in many points, there is really no best guaranteed way to play. Good post though.
#37 May 05 2004 at 5:17 PM Rating: Decent
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Airspirit - This is a wonderful guide, and I'm sure many people will appreciate it, especially when they start to run into slumps before level 41. It's a tough haul to get there, but once you're there, you really start to love being a rdm.

I had a question regarding one of your replies. What level were you killing ice elementals in the glacier, and/or fishing there? i tried fishing the other day.. (albeit on a bad moon) and caught nothing but monsters. Is it worth the danger to fish for icefish? I've always wanted to sit there and pluck up 400+gil, 2-3 at a time, but i wonder if it's worth the risk, and if so, what level is it worth it.
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#38 May 05 2004 at 5:36 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
Instead of saying "hume is best" I would prefer a stickied guide to have pros and cons, so I would be able to make up my own mind



altho i don't agree w/ him at hume being best rdm, all the equipment he lists and information i don't find helpful to myself(since i've figured most of this stuff out on my own), but if a new red mage were to read this start to finish hopefully he'd be able to make the right choice on subjob and equipment. It'd be hard to find a guide on red mage written by a red mage not to be somewhat biased towards the particular red mages playstyle ;)
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#39 May 05 2004 at 5:42 PM Rating: Good
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Try telling me that an elvaan would make a good black mage compared to a taru. That is the gist of your argument. Try telling me that a paladin is best off using a greatsword and a THF sub. That is the gist of your argument. I have no opinions in that post at all: only the reality of what works best and what doesn't. See the Apologists section to get an answer to your "wah I feel picked on" argument: people want nice fuzzy feel good "everybody is fine" BS when there are really hard and fast rules to what performs best ... people that give the "no cookie cutter" argument are usually trying to excuse their bad choices. Certain things work best. If you choose to play otherwise, you aren't playing at your best. So be it. This is your choice.

If you noticed there were pros and cons listed. There aren't really any true drawbacks for humes, while for all other races there are indeed pros and cons listed comparing them to the ideal: in this case humes. The only opinion is whether Humes or Mithras are better suited, and personally I think the STR outweighs the DEX in efficiency. Notice that I pointed out that that choice was a judgement call.

Do icefishing in the mid to high 50s. Anything earlier and you will probably have aggro problems from the gigas that patrol the lakes. As for the ice elementals, 55+ should be very safe for you to take them out. Even at 50 you can do it if you are on your game. At 60 I could take on four at a time (training two to the other pond just for kicks). You gotta love firaga.

edit for clarification

Edited, Wed May 5 19:05:09 2004 by airspirit
#40 May 05 2004 at 6:06 PM Rating: Excellent
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As I said, and you said. You listed "this race is the best" then gave pros and cons. And as Smurv said:

Quote:
It'd be hard to find a guide on red mage written by a red mage not to be somewhat biased towards the particular red mages playstyle ;)


Which is what this post is, biased towards your playstyle. All I'm saying is that a post like this is not a sticky type of post. Is it informative, yes. Is it well thought out, yes. But it's also biased and opinionated, to your particular playstyle. Some of it I agree with, some of it I don't. Same with what Smurv said, same with alot of other high level RDM such as myself.

A good red mage sticky guide should give pros and cons on everything, without leaning in a certain direction. The examples of Elvaan BLM or PLD with THF subjob and whatnot are certainly extreme cases, and cannot be compared.

If you were to read a tourist guide, it may say vist Theme Park X. But it does not say go on this ride because it is the best in the park, eat at this restaurant because it's the best in the park. It points you in the right direction as to what to expect. Which in some of your post, is done, whereas in other parts, you are talking down to others from your particular point of view, which is why I think it's a good post, but not a good sticky guide.

I personally have no hurt feelings regarding your post, I definitely think it could help someone in the right direction, so your "hurt feelings section" or whatever you called it is moot. I haven't rated you either way regarding putting your karma on the line. I personally would rather see, for example:

Hume - Average in all areas.

Taru - High Mp and Low Hp.

than

Hume - The best race for Redmage. Average in all areas, no drawbacks. (as this is true for a hume in any job)

Taru - Third best race, High MP, High Int, lower MND low HP.

This is just an example, but I'm saying by throwing your opinion in there, you're steering people towards your ideal Redmage, by saying it's THE ideal Redmage. Having it stickied certainly doesn't help. This is just one point, as it's in the beginning. Once again, as I said, it's not a bad post, and it's helpful, still shouldn't be stickied as gospel.

Edited, Wed May 5 19:18:50 2004 by CrimsonMagician
#41 May 05 2004 at 6:14 PM Rating: Decent
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amongst what's been posted over the past 2-3 months this is by far the best post i've read, which is why i wanted it stickied, i didnt want it to get lost w/ all the other posts. Altho it is biased towards hume rdm, it's still a great guide for info about subjobs.. about equipment.. and about how to effectively melee as a rdm.
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#42 May 05 2004 at 6:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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I agree with you there Smurv. But stickying something out of frustration will not solve the problem. In fact I think we should probably create a collective guide with opinions on race, and what makes them good/bad. Equipment can change per race as well. Even subjob might be considered by the race. That's just one point though. Melee is another point that is up for debate, even how to do it. All I'm saying is a guide should be a little more general, either that, or go into ALOT more detail.
#43 May 05 2004 at 6:43 PM Rating: Decent
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maybe airspirit will take the advice w/ a grain of salt and update the guide to take out some of the personal opinions ont he matter... who knows. ;)
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75 blm / 68brd / 38whm / 30rng / 75 mnk / 37war / 53 thf / 37nin / 12rdm rank 7
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85 rogue 85 hunter 85 shaman 85 priest 85 mage
#44 May 05 2004 at 6:53 PM Rating: Decent
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By your measure, then, there is no such thing as a good guide since you have the erroneous belief that all play styles are equal. While that philosophy makes good teaching material at school or a nice cuddly theme in a thursday night sit-com, it is not reality.

Again, you are not arguing the content, but rather whining because you feel put out. Spare me the drama and point out fallacies if you can find any. I promise you that you will not be able to locate any (that reduce efficiency).

I've studied red magery as if it was an art form. I regularly invite other mages to watch and critique as well as do the same for other senior red mages. I party in dual RDM parties all the time allowing me to see other facets of how the class can be played and this has allowed me to discover ways of boosting our effectiveness and efficiency in ways most people won't discover through normal party play.

People that argue that there is no "right" way to do anything remind me of a certain noob WHM/WAR on the WHM boards that bragged about how awesome he was at his job even though he ran out of MP completely every fight and slowed his party down and then complained that nobody with common sense agreed that what he was doing was spectacular. There ARE right and wrong ways to do things ... though most are not necessarily wrong but rather just less efficient. Take meleeing for example: if it in no way hinders your casting but adds damage to the mob is it not adding efficiency? Now some can say that they don't like to melee for whatever reason (I can forgive Tarus for this since they are so frail), but when I hear arguments such as "I don't melee because that is my playstyle and every playstyle is equal" (a similar argument to what you are giving) I can only pity that person: how does removing free damage ever make you more efficient? Even TP concerns can be wiped out by using a Beestinger (0 damage + enspell) ... there is no reason not to do your best and that is what I'm pointing out.

As for breaking it down into various races and playstyles that are geared toward that particular race I am working with some level 73+ red mages currently (this is some dangerous crap, lol) to gather more information from other racial and subjob points of view (I found me a 75 RDM/BRD!) and will be adding this in an addendum post later. In general, however, the playstyle above is the one that has proven more effective time and again ... while other play styles are viable, it doesn't mean that they are equally effective. That is the fallacy in your argument.

If you want to bring facts to the table I invite it. If you want to complain that yours or someone else's feelings might be hurt by someone suggesting that there is a better way, then I have no further time for you. I'm sorry if it sounds harsh, but not everything is equal.

Soon I will be putting together information tailored to more targetted audiences, but for now I just provided the best overall general methodology that can be achieved. I figure if I saved everything for one long post topic nobody would bother to read all 50 pages of it, lol.
#46 May 05 2004 at 7:06 PM Rating: Excellent
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Much like any other time I post, I don't think you're really bothering to read what I'm saying. Everyone is so defensive in these forums. I'm not here to flame you. You have a good post. My whole point is that it should not be stickied or read as gospel. If you research other Red Mages and analyze the data, seriously, good for you. But you saying you have done it, does not show any proof or data to support your claim "this is how you should do it". I don't feel put out by your post, as I've said every reply, it's well done.

You're argument about how "you've done this" and "you've done that" doesn't do anything for me. Talking to those fabled level 75's doesn't do anything for me either. All I am asking for are facts that people can base their decisions on, not opinion. Opinion has no place in something stickied to the top of the forums, as you have woven it into some very good information, which taints it. You won't change your mind or see my point, so I will not post here any longer.

I can also tell by your responses that doubt is creeping in. You have a well put together post, however your only response is to come back with "that reminds me of a WAR/WHM. Give me a break dude, we're in the same boat. RDM's with full AF and good equipment. Click my profile, or come visit me on the Seraph server. Then you can hear about my legendary deeds from other players. Seriously you can't preach from a soapbox on heresy. Facts. That's what I want in my Red Mage forum, stickied at the top. Not the opinion of one guy.

Edited, Wed May 5 20:30:11 2004 by CrimsonMagician
#47 May 05 2004 at 7:29 PM Rating: Decent
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he's not the one who got it stickied, i am. Because i felt it deserved to stay at the top of the forums.. for the simple fact it has a ton of info about subjobs ... equipment.. and playstyles that were posted in it. And as he said he's going to be posting more on other playstyle types eventually but as you can see it was a very long post as it is.

instead of posting how you don't think it should be stickied crim, post some info you think is lacking in the guide ;)


PS. you suck for changing your avatar bastard! i miss the dancing heroes :x
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FFXI : Valor LS
75 blm / 68brd / 38whm / 30rng / 75 mnk / 37war / 53 thf / 37nin / 12rdm rank 7
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85 rogue 85 hunter 85 shaman 85 priest 85 mage
#48 May 05 2004 at 7:38 PM Rating: Excellent
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Okay, you are partly right Smurv. I changed it temporarily so that one day it will wow people again. Nobody cared anymore. Anyhow, as I said earlier, it's stickied out of frustration. I know first hand about how many crappy posts are in this forum, we have all flamed them out of frustration as well. I'm not here to say "this is a bad post, and here's why". Nor am I here to argue and nitpick the details. I would just like to see more neutrality when it comes to things stickied to the forums.

I would also like the original poster to be more open minded, and to acknowledge the fact that his, very well put together mind you, post is very much opinion driven. Responding to me with "you remind me of a war/whm noob" or "life isn't fair" does not cut it. I don't remember the last time I met a level 62 rank 7 noob with millions in equipment. Nor do I remember asking for sympathy due to my race choice. I also did not ask for a "everything is equal" What I did ask for was a fact driven stickied post, which is not what this is.

Edited, Wed May 5 21:53:32 2004 by CrimsonMagician
#49 May 05 2004 at 8:46 PM Rating: Good
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That is the misunderstanding then. Unlike most of the people that post here I don't play theory games ever. I don't "talk" to fabled level 75 players: I go into the field and watch what they do. I do this with lower level players as well, particularly ones in my linkshell. I follow them out and we tweak things to the point of perfection and speed ... it is what I do. I naturally don't try to push my opinions onto higher levelled mages ever: rather in those cases I just observe and see what happens. It is interesting to watch how some will literally swap entire sets of armor before taking certain actions (particularly with errant gear since wearing it destroys any melee capability you have for godhood as a mage). I have watched numerous tactics and play styles and from observation can pick out the parts that work well and those that reduce general efficiency.

A good example of this is the SMN sub in renkei parties that use fuidama. While in most circumstances it is extremely inadvisable to spam summon pacts as a red mage it increases party efficiency to use aerial armor immediately before a swap tank fuidama renkei to save your group up to nine hits at 100-200 damage per hit (up to 1500 damage in healing saved for only 120 MP or so on IT+ processionaires) depending on what class is being swapped on at the time. Intuitively, it wouldn't make sense to dump those MPs each fight (700+ MP per chain) but in doing so it became more efficient to not refresh the WHM at all and not to burst at all making up that MP per fight since it allows the WHM to sit and med before the end of the fight and into the next to recover more MP than otherwise they would be able to. A perfect example of conditional refresh casting that was lost on me until I actually went out and watched multiple red mages in the field do their thing.

Some of you make it sound like I'm making arbitrarily biased statements in there when I'm really just relaying what I have seen in actual action. An example is the best elvaans out there will be wearing life belts over royal knight's belts religiously as well as using almost strictly +acc equipment rather than damage equipment taking advantage of their natural strength ... but giving themselves a chance of hitting their target. It is rare to see them use elemental magic, since they need to conserve mps much more carefully than the other viable races. It is also inadvisable to sub WHM since the lower INT available lessens the impact of their INT based debuffs regardless of the fact that they will have an extremely minor MP hit. While other tactics can be done they tend to be less effective in the end.

Take mithra for example: the sole reason I rated them lower is the lower STR stat. On identical mobs with identical equipment with a mithra I found that even though they hit more they did 20% less damage per hit. This was done on various IT mobs at level 60 with anelaces. In the end when everything was tallied the hume damage outdid the mithran damage by about 5%. Otherwise from their magical prowess they are virtually identical. This is why I listed them as more of an aesthetic option. Overall, since everthing else is equal, it put the humes ahead in efficiency though in a minor way. On the flipside, when soloing mithra have a slight advantage due to their enhanced evasion. I focus more on group play when I rate efficiency though.

Then you have tarus. Low STR and HP make them less able to sit on the front lines. Their high INT makes their nukes more effective and their MPs let them use them more. To take advantage of this most will go for IT game at a slower pace than fast paced VT chains to take advantage of the slower chaining times. I would be willing to lay 5K on the fact that Smurv does this himself. More use dark staves after 51 to assist in gaining as much MP as they can between their shorter chains and use fast daggers rather than swords to enhance their damage output. Even though they typically go for bigger game to take advantage of their strengths, they typically aren't able to make the XP/hr that a fast moving VT party can do. In faster moving parties their inherent talents are wasted and they can't match the damage output through their magical talents as a hume or mithra can through their weapons and still chain as effectively. I've watched this numerous times with numerous Tarus and it is always the same. While they are the easiest RDMs to level early on when the reach the stage where resting isn't an option anymore it becomes much more difficult for them to play as effectively in your typical group forcing them to move into heavily magical IT+ parties to retain near full effectiveness. I'd be willing to bet that Smurv has observed this himself and could tell you the same. While many choose not to melee for safety reasons there is not one of them that wouldn't be more effective if they would use a dagger while they cast their spells. Due to the additional risk, however, I can respect the decision of some Taru RDMs not meleeing as it is based in a real danger that they face due to a racial weakness. These guys aren't nearly as cut out for soloing, either ... but that is a totally seperate issue.

Everything I've put in that top post is based on massive amounts of observation, not theorycraft like what you see here. The reason I've kept this at 65 and under is that is all I have personally experienced, so that is what I'm qualified to instruct in. If I talked about levels I haven't reached I'd be no different than the other hordes of people on this board giving advice to level 41+ players when they haven't reached 30 yet. Those are the people that caused me to start writing this. I'll get into more detail with numbers and statistics later, but know full well that everything I've posted up there is not based on arbitrary guesswork or bias but from real observation and statistics. Fact, if you will.

edit for broken grammar

Edited, Wed May 5 21:50:26 2004 by airspirit
#50 May 05 2004 at 8:59 PM Rating: Default
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The guide is all well and good (So far, I seem to have adhered to it without knowing it existed), but isn't the real reason for playing to have fun? Breaking it down into a clinical observation kind of detracts from the fun, I think.

For what it's worth, I think it's a good guide and I'll probably follow along with it since I'm a hume rdm, but I think for this guide to be more true to itself, Airspirit would have to play each race as a rdm (I don't expect this to happen b/c that is a lot of time and money for something Airspirit is doing out of kindness and for free). That way, Airspirit could give a first-hand critique of each race; watching another rdm has a higher potential to be biased (since the subject probably doesn't play the same way Airspirit does) and conversing with another rdm only dilutes the guide because now another perspective is brought in and Airspirit would have to interpret this perspective to add it to the guide(unless this guide becomes a collaboration, in which case this would be beneficial if the collaborator could edit the guide also).

As for making it sticky, I think the argument could be resolved by possibly altering the title of this thread?

Dendra.
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#51 May 05 2004 at 9:33 PM Rating: Good
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There is no way I could get the time to level five races to 75 RDM along with four subs each to 37, lol.

When I make my observations I use multiple examples per race. The only race this was difficult with was galka, as quite frankly there aren't any. I not only base my observations of the timestamped logs from each battle showing who is doing what, but also the observations and reasoning of both the RDM and their party. It works quite well, and most people are enthused about anything that can make them more effective ... and the chance to show their prowess.

I do respect your comment though, as I have NOT played the other races and probably never will ... my reasoning for picking this one was because the avatar looked like somebody I once knew. Though at various times each of the other three reasonable choices has made me jealous, once you reach later in the game when red mages really shine it is the Hume's genericness that makes them excel in such a rounded job. Go figure.

If you guys want a different title I'm more than happy to change it if I can. I don't mind at all. Any suggestions?
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