Into the Dungeons!

Into the Dungeons!

As I may have mentioned I joined Final Fantasy A Realm Reborn recently and have been trying to level up to 50 so I can get involved in my guilds End Game stuff. Currently this involves me doing an awful lot of quests, fates, and levequests (kinda like the daily repeatable quests in WOW).

It also involves doing the main quest line, now admittedly I manage to miss one of the links in this questline, so it took me a little while to locate the next step. It turns out the next step was “go and sample the low level dungeons” which was good!

This is where the Multiclass method of the game, where you have a single character with multiple classes, really pays off. It meant that I could actually get help from the high level members of my guild, who shifted to their low level classes and came to run them with me. This made it a lot easier to get a group together as a Ranged DPS class (as my main class at the moment) my queue in the “duty finder” would have been fairly long otherwise. Tanks and Healers obviously find it far easier to deal with, being as they are in high demand and somewhat specialised.

The main questline actually has a spate of three Low level dungeons which with the help of my guild, and one random I have now run through! They are quite varied and actually very fun so I will give you a quick run down of them:

Sastasha Seagrot

Intended for levels 15-18 (which for reasons of levelling fast and being blind I did at 22) Satasha is the first of the three instances and mostly revolves around a series of caves near Western La Noscea. For the most part it is a fairly standard “Tank-and-Spank” instance familiar to most MMO players. It throws a few curveballs however especially with the Giant Clams and other monsters where the order you take things down in actually becomes fairly important. This however is another point where the well thought out UI really helps. The main tank can actually put giant floating numbers over the enemies heads, telling you exactly what to kill in what order. Of course being a Thaumaturge I just DPS everything and keep an eye on my threat meters, but it’s the thought that counts!

Most of the enemies and groups of enemies are straight forward, and there are not too many “surprises” which is a good thing. The final boss however is a much more interesting affair.

It starts as a standard Tank and Spank, but arranged around the arena are grates from which occasionally strange bubbles will begin to emit… and if they are left alone eventually enemies. If you keep on top of them then the fight is straight forward as the Big Boss doesn’t have too much in the way of dirty tricks.

But the Party does… Limit Breaks are AMAZING.

As the party moves through the dungeon, a limit break meter begins to fill up. Once full any person in the party can trigger it and get an effect based on what sort of class they are. Tanks get an area defend, Healers do an AOE heal.
DPS… We drop a meteor on people. A massive AOE doing massive damage and pretty much levelling anything in its path comes slamming down from the sky. I cannot tell you how satisfying it is to clear a whole load of Mobs in one “Nope can’t be bothered to fight you lot” move. At the moment I still struggle to know when to do it, but as DPS I get to do it a fair amount!

As a starting instance Satasha is a good introduction and leads quickly to:

Tam-Tara Deepcroft

Settled in the Central Shroud near New Gridania, the Tam-Tara Deepcroft is the second of the instances, designed for lower levels. Again this one is a simple instance, but starts to test the parties ability to deal with larger groups of mobs, with each of the sub-bosses gaining more and more adds as the dungeon progresses. I suspect with a less epic group it would have been necessary for me to make use of my Sleep spell a lot more, but as it was we busted out the Hideous damage and burned through everything.

There is a benefit to exploring the dungeon fully as well, as there are a lot of side passages where there are a few monsters and a treasure chest that may well contain useful items, or even loot. If all you want is to complete the mission then you can do easily just burning through the most direct route, but if you have the time it is worth hitting the side corridors to increase your take from the place!

The Final boss here is a lesson in multitasking with a lot of adds streaming in, Imps linking to him to apply some form of effect, and occasional large AOE attacks that remembering to dodge is very useful. As you might imagine, dropping a huge meteor on him when he is surrounded by mobs is unbelievably fun, and probably an intended tactic.

So I did.

Everything exploded, and I may have giggled so evilly that the person on Vent with me was slightly disturbed.

Copperbell Mines

Finally back to just outside my own home city of Ul’Dah, it still took me a while to find the entrance to the mines hidden as it is in a little box canyon. I have to say however that this is probably my favourite of all of the first three instances as it relies on non-standard boss fights.

The other thing it does that I didn’t notice so much in the other ones is overlapping patrols, meaning that you have to grab groups of enemies at just the right time to kill them off before a whole load of others come and join the fun. Again I suspect I should have used sleep a few times, but as it was we were mostly unscathed.

Mostly.

The first Boss fight was not too bad, a seemingly endless stream of enemies needing to be killed before eventually the boss turned up to get wailed on. Of course some of the enemies in the swarm were bombs, that explode with frankly horrible aoe damage just before they die (more on them later). Keeping track of them was… fun.

Unfortunately one of the problems FF does have is that the engine does weird things to people’s computers. With mine it occasionally overloads the graphics card causing it to crash-reset, making the screen go black, but importantly the game continues running in the background, which has more than once caused my untimely death. For our other DPS on this run however it kept randomly crashing her modem.

Which as you might imagine is a touch problematic for an online game.
At the next boss it turned into a nightmare. I think with a full party the fight would actually be simple. Tank the huge blob creature that is the actual boss, lure the bombs in using them to split it into ever smaller chunks, and kill the Spriggan that appears to try and put the bomb out, then DPS the chunks…

What actually happened was the fight started and the other DPS got disconnected by a modem crash. Ok we thought that’s problematic but handle able. Then a bomb went awry and blew up the tank….

Which was when things got hectic.

The Healer got aggro on the blob so I froze them in place and tried to get a bomb out, only for the Spriggan to kill it, then I got mobbed by the blob when I got a new bomb. This time we killed the Spriggan, only for the bomb to catch the healer in the blast.

Luckily the other DPS reappeared at that point and grabbed the blob off me, so I got a new bomb, managed to kill the Spriggan and blew the blob down to smaller chunks. It was a bit difficult grabbing bombs and killing the Spriggan as well but we finally got into the flow of it. Sadly the other dps got a bit blown up… Luckily I was able to explode the last bomb, then AOE the blob chunks to death before it ate my head. It was hectic, but mostly because of out of game reasons, but the actual fight was actually very fun.

There was one minor issue when I by accident took aggro and while trying to avoid dying utterly ran past another group and pulled them as well by accident. Luckily… Tank and healer were both up to the challenge!

I’m not sure how the Boss battle is supposed to go, but the way we did it was as a DPS race. Halfway through the fight the boss goes and hammers on the wall, breaking it and giving a timer until large adds begin to appear. I suspect you are supposed to “handle” the adds, but we instead just upped our damage to try and burn him down before they got there… Which we managed with literally a second to spare!

I wasn’t terribly lucky from the Loot sadly but did pick up some lovely caster gloves from this last boss which were still an upgrade despite me being way over level for this, which was nice!

Special Bonus Fight

Ifrit, aka That REALLY Burny guy.

Oh boy. Ifrit is the first of the “advancement block” bosses, enemies that you must pass before you can go on with the main quest line. From what I’m hearing you actually have to pass each one at least twice, once in normal mode and one in “Hard” which is a much higher level. Having heard my guild mates trying Titan Hard, I’m really glad that I was only on normal Ifrit.
FIRE EVERYWHERE.

This time not being caused by me either. I think I need to run the fight again at some point and actually pay attention to what is going on, it mostly looked like… everything and then an explosion, then there was a spike which I was told to drop a meteor on, but couldn’t due to a lack of limit break meter, so DPS’ed the hell out of instead. There was a lot of running from the middle to the edge and back, while periodically catching fire.

As a class that has to stand still to cast things the running was problematic, but eventually we triumphed! The Giant Burny guy toppled over and we fled into the open air!

The Next step? Get to Rank 30 and become a black mage!

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