|MNK75/DNC37 soloing KS30 BCNM Operation Desert Swarm (ODS)|
This entry will be mostly about /DNC subjob for monk again, just because it's new and something I've been playing around with a bit more recently.
When to use MNK/DNC:
Dancer37 is a very nice subjob but other subjobs can still be more useful depending on the situation. For example you can solo some VT/IT very well with it, but for others /NIN can still be better.
A good rule of thumb is looking at how fast you take damage with each hit/WS, if you take less than 200 damage every 3 seconds, especially in the form of multiple smaller attacks and moves that would go through shadows (e.g., imps, shock spikes on sea sharks, multiple easier monster, fleas etc), then you might be better off with /DNC.
If instead you are fighting something that hits hard but infrequently, and with very strong moves that can be absorbed by shadows (for example the sea flowers Euvhi), then you'll do better as MNK/NIN.
And of course all the other subjobs are still very useful, MNK/WAR for max damage especially in PTs (where you could get a better drain effect from a DNC main), etc.
Soloing the 6 scorpion NMs in KS30 BCNM Operation Desert Swarm:
I've been thinking of soloing some KS BCNMs for a few months, both to get rid of unused seals that were taking space (you get a lot when soloing), to uncap my xp a bit for a worthwhile cause, and as a chance to find a situation where MNK/DNC might be useful. But I've been kinda busy until a few days ago, when I finally found some time to plan my strategy and actually try it out.
So here is a video I made of me soloing and winning that BCNM:
For one thing, they have their own main enhancing magic skill, so the damage reduction from Phalanx and stoneskin is much greater than you could ever get with MNK (more than double). And that's not counting Protect4 and Shell3 (for the magic damage from monster WS moves like earth pounder), Cure4s and other JAs like Sentinel and Invincible. To top it off, PLD as many other jobs can wear some very useful enchantment items that monk can't wear, so they can get a free and decently strong 100% Ice Spikes effect that will paralyze all the attacking scorpions a lot (note MNK can wear rasetsu pants but it's a very low activation rate and strength in comparison and you have to keep them on and give up on byakko's haidate which would be a big sacrifice). The PLD with the two relics was able to use all those things to his/her own advantage.
On a side note after soloing this KS I have an idea of what I would like for a new ability for monk, something like an AOE petrify for example would be quite nice (after all BLM can solo this just thanks to his repeated area of effect sleepga and thundaga3)...
I also started looking at the data I collected during this try and plotting some values, here are some defensive stats, you can see I recovered over 10,000 HP (10K HP!) with TP dances alone.
I might add more analysis here in this same post probably in the next ~week, so keep checking this post if you are interested in that.
Anyways, since all that doesn't apply to MNK, I had to use a fairly different strategy and rely on some of MNK's strong points, evasion, counter, guard, high TP gain, and awesome well rounded gear like Kirin Osode.
Also I didn't have anything to imitate or follow to come up with my own strategy, and there's probably a few things I might do a bit differently now based on the experience and data I collected, but part of the fun is trying to be first in coming up with and trying new strategies and new challenges.
The scorpions become stronger and stronger as you kill more. Even their TP moves and attacks do much more damage.
The two TP moves they do have a chance of either binding them for a few seconds or making them stop attacking for a few seconds.
Part of the strategy I came up with was in giving them TP at different rates (sometimes fast and other times slow, to balance the large 6xWS damage I would suffer and the short bind/noDMG pauses I could take advantage of) and trying to separate the scorpions, among many other details like other gear swaps, JAs etc.
People that do it with a normal setup of 6 lvl75 people or use -aga spells try to kill them at the same time have it easier in this respect, because they get kill to them basically in parallel and thus only fight the normal initial strength scorpions. Of course soloing as MNK I had to do it the harder way.
The fight was not exactly smooth, it's NOT an easy solo BCNM (try it for yourself, especially if you're a big fan of just wearing just ATK gear, you will see how far that gets you hehe) unlike easier things like soloing ENM50 for a 0.01% chance at a toreador ring etc.
In fact in that winning BC run I died and recovered twice, you can see where at the exploding transitions, I cut them out to keep the video a bit shorter (especially since each time the scorpions recover to full HP of course).
The final drops were really bad, 24k Gil, and none of the good drops (just H.Q.Scorp.Shell, Raxa, etc, and I already had in moghouse an Anubis Knife, all the R/EX weapons etc so those just didn't show in the drops).
But it was a very fun and challenging fight, I recommend every monk to try it for fun (you can get the good drops easily just by soloing NMs like Serket anyways, but that's not really any challenge, aside from getting the claim).
A little more discussion (and video) on leveling subjobs with /BST (especially DNC/BST)
I retired DNC as soon as I turned 37. I really like it as sub to MNK, but as main there are a lot of things I don't like about DNC, such as the extremely low melee damage potential.
But I did record a few videos back then of me soloing as DNC/BST and I decided I should show one here to give people a better idea of how nice, relaxing and fast it can be to get xp with DNC/BST, even at 36-37.
Granted, the higher the level the slower the XP tends to become, just because DNC becomes more well defined as a low damage class (more like a BRD) while monsters' HP becomes higher and higher.
Still, you can get at least 5-7k xp/hr soloing xp chains of toughs with /BST and it can be very fun and relaxing (and you can log off or pick it back up instantly anytime).
At this level already DNC does so little damage that your pet will now basically tank all the times, and your main goal is to just get TP and use it to enfeeble the monster more and more so that your pet can kill it faster (often you will charm just DC or at most EM since /BST is just a sub, and remember that there is an evasion and accuracy penalty for each level difference between two monsters, so those eva down and def down really help your pet do more damage).
Here is the video:
Another small rant on how PLing is sad and is replacing player skill in FFXI:
So I mentioned how I was disappointed to see how many people use lvl 75 "mules" to PL themselves when soloing instead of using good strategy and skill. As DNC I soloed all the way to 37. As SCH it's a bit more of a pain even with /BST so I actually took the risk and accepted a few random PT invites, so I got to see how bad PLing can be even in PTs...
Now notice the fact that we had TWO level 75 WHMs to PL this PT (I am not sure who exactly set this up but these WHMs seemed to be normal players just helping someone they knew in the party rather than someone dualboxing).
And yet the PT was so bad (low overall damage and a bad level spread). With TWO PLers we were making less than 5k/hr...
I can make much more than that soloing, without having two WHMs 50 levels above me babysit us o.O.
Just scroll up and compare my screenshot of my SOLO xp chain#4 of 420xp with this one with the TWO WHMs PL and just 270xp (notice I even had an xp ring active in this PT). And as I mentioned I was clocking the total xp/hr too and it never went over 5k even after we changed camp...
And of course all these PLed PTs mean that more and more people will keep leveling up without any clue of what it takes to make a good PT or play well. Sometimes it's good for people in the long run to actually die and learn from their mistakes.
Other misc stuff:
A few other things I found interesting:
Pixies are monsters that actually HELP players! It's kind of cool, they basically do almost the opposite of undeads, they sense people near them with low HP, and cast cures on them!
Also on another note, I finally changed my Homepoint away from AlZabi back to Bastok.
I had left it in Alzabi for so long because it was cool to have it in a place that was no longer a choice, but now there are NPCs that teleport you to Whitegate from any of the 3 cities for just 300gil, and that's much more convenient than the other way around using an imperial silver coin each time (also for using outposts).
I also started to move back all my mules to their own towns since I can access their storage and local Auction Houses there, and then just pay 300g to go to Whitegate again and an extra silver coin if I need them in Jeuno (e.g., for lower tax etc). It might take me a while because while they all have mog lockers some don't have the NPC warper quest done.
I also recently helped someone I knew who had quit and restarted FFXI with their cap55 quest, and soloing those 3 NMs was a bit nostalgic and fun, it's kinda clear they made those monsters to show off and magnify in the eyes of the lower capped players how strong a level 75 can be, making your damage on them so high and their spells and attacks on you so low:
As a final note, someone I knew ingame on my server (Bardok) got their account hacked and stolen recently, from what I understand from that activeX hack-keylogger on somepage, which kinda sucks. It's easy to say people should be more careful with their security settings but you can't expect everyone to be computer savy all the times. Anyways that's another reason why it's so bad when people help RMTs or buy characters or gil or items from them, because if nobody ever bought them, dishonest people wouldn't have any incentive to do things like trying to hack into other people's accounts to try to steal them.
WE're all going to stop plaing eventually, and there are already a lot of things in the game that I've not been interested in for a loong time, but hopefully most of us can quit on a nice note and on their own terms.
Anyways Bardok, sorry to hear that, take care man.
Oh and Happy new Year to everybody.