15 August, 2005

Darkness Named

Oh yes, Darkness has a name. And it is called...

Yep, it's that time. >_<

We decided to plan for today to continue onwards through the Chains of Promathia storyline. While Riverne Saite #A01 was the last really trying BCNM fight, this next fight would take the cake.

For completeness's sake, I'll just gloss over the prepatory work, which involves killing an NM Malboro in Carpenter's Landing, and another Antlion NM, then climbing a mountain in the Attohwa Chasm (which, by the way, is actually quite fun ^^). All this was setup leading up to our introduction to Pso'Xja, for what Allakhazam refers to as CoP 3-5, otherwise better known as the Diabolos fight.

First off, one must gain the Tenshodo's approval to enter the inner realms of Pso'Xja. That requires farming some chips in Pso'Xja to bring back to the Tenshodo in exchange for a key item pass. The chips are found in three different places in Pso'Xja, but the easiest (for us, at least) was farming the Diremite Assaulters in one of the uncapped areas of Pso'Xja. The particular entrance we went to can be found at F-7 of the Beaucedine Glacier. From the entrance, make a turn right, where you will find a small, square hole, and drop down to find Bats and Diremites. These all have a chance of dropping a coloured chip, and the drop rate is high, so this isn't particularly difficult.

The mobs here con Decent Challenge to a Level 75, and while there are three different coloured chips, each person only needs one of the three to gain access. Florid Stones also drop, but those were for the ENM fight, so we didn't bother with those. ^^

Then came the hard part. Diabolos.

All in all, we tried a grand total of eight times before finally beating him, and even then, we only just managed to beat him by a sliver. As you may know from reading other sites, Diabolos has multiple abilities, such as Phalanx, and a multi-Absorb-stat move. However, what really makes Diabolos hard is a particular move of his called "Nightmare".

What Nightmare does is put everyone in the party in a deep sleep, one that poison, or other DoT effects do not wake you up from. Not only that, Nightmare comes with an incredibly lethal Bio effect, that drains 20-22hp per tick! In case you didn't notice it earlier, I'll reiterate this part: This Bio DoT does not wake you up from Sleep! Not only that, the affected area is essentially the entire battlefield, so there's little chance you will be able to get out of range to avoid Nightmare, although it certainly is possible.

To give you an idea of how silly Nightmare can be, on one of the attempts we did, Diabolos decided to use Nightmare really early into the fight. In fact, we hadn't even gotten into position (more about this later) before Diabolos used Nightmare. And there I was, with Barsleepra and Stoneskin on when Nightmare hit me. When the Bio finally killed me, I still had not woken up from the Sleep effect of Nightmare. It is that silly.

That being said, it is very important that one party member be able to Cure another. Even then, the problem then becomes trying to cope with the Bio effect, since there is just not enough time for the White Mage to Erase the Bio off everyone in the party, especially if another Nightmare just sets everyone back to square one.

However, Nightmare can be stunned. The window might not be terribly long, but there's a long enough pause for anybody to jump in and try to interrupt it. Dark Knights are clearly the best job for the task, especially since a DRK is the only job within the Level 40 cap that can cast Stun. Samurai can use Tachi: Hobaku, while any melee with a Sword can Flat Blade in an attempt to stop it.

Stunning Nightmare is of paramount importance. Forget stuff like skillchains and all that- save TP for stunning weaponskills, and use Meditate, Meikyo Shisui, or Icarus Wings to make sure your melee are always ready to Stun that Nightmare when Diabolos readies it.

Sometime during the fight, Diabolos will also take away some parts of the floor! Should you then go off the edge, you will fall down to the bottom floor where six Diremites will be more than happy to take care of you, so that's a sure death. To make matters more interesting, Diabolos also has a knockback move which, if you're positioned badly, will promptly knock you off the top floor, down below, end of story.

There are only a few possible patterns in which the tiles are removed. Long story short, there are two (actually) three safe "tiles" on which to fight on. When you enter the arena, you will notice that the battlefield is essentially a 5x5 grid. The two safe squares are Diabolos' starting square, and the square directly opposite Diabolos. Put melee on one square, mages on the other. Simple.

Our party at first was myself (WHM), Akanea (SAM), Saoirse (THF), Ksayyah (SMN), Skurlover (RNG), and Moonbeam (PLD). Having no stunners, we tried, and failed all four attempts we made before calling it a night. We did learn that Akanea's Tachi: Hobaku would prove to be very important, and we also learnt that Diabolos is actually quite easy to enfeeble with regular spells, like Silence and Slow. Paralyze, in particular, seemed very useful against him. Despite all that, one Nightmare from Diabolos can easily lose the battle for you. >_<

After giving up, we decided to try again the next day, except this time, since Moonbeam couldn't make it, we swapped him out for Tesutamento, who was nice enough to come on his Ninja. Once again, we wiped three times because of Nightmare, before the last time in which he did not use Nightmare until fairly late into the battle, which Akanea was then able to successfully stun with Tachi: Hobaku. The next Nightmare resolved though, and suddenly, the fight was on the ropes.

We were so close to beating him that time too, it was one of those "now or never" moments. Two hour abilities started flying all over the place, and in retrospect, I don't think the fight could have been won if it weren't for that. Granted, I only noticed one Searing Light go off, and Meikyo Shisui was integral at keeping Diabolos at bay, while I made a last-ditch effort at a Benediction to keep the other party members alive after Tesu bit the dust. Eagle Eye Shot...um...missed. >_<

When Diabolos literally had just one line of health left, I decided to go all the way, and activated Reraise to toss one last Cure onto Akanea and Dia Diabolos one more time. I was completely spent at this point, weakened, and with no health or mana to contibute. Thankfully, Saoirse managed to get in a SA'ed Viper Bite for the kill, and there was much rejoicing. ^^

Heh. We (those lying face down) were grimacing at how close the battle was, and were literally spamming the party chat with "{death}{You can have this.}" and "OMG!! KIILLLLL!!!!!" Suffice to say, we were very relieved to have won. ^^

To those of you out there who have yet to attempt this fight- I strongly recommend the following. Do a dry run first, just to get used to what the battle is like. Try to have a Dark Knight if at all possible, and keep him Hasted to reduce the Stun recast. Have melees with a weaponskill that Stuns bring an Icarus Wing to make sure they are prepared to Stun Diabolos when the time comes. Everybody, including mages, bring multiple Hi-Potions. Yagudo Drinks are a must for mages.

White Mages, keep Stoneskin up. Any time you can buy yourself in the event of Nightmare is very valuable, and Stoneskin could very well make a difference. Also Barsleepra also helps shorten Nightmare's duration. Regen is a buffer against Nightmare as well, although since it wears off quickly, it's not exactly the most practical of precautions to take. I'd Regen yourself and the tank, and try fitting it on the other members as you see fit.

Make sure everybody is at least capable of curing themselves with Hi-Potions. Thinking about it, I would say that a Paladin tank is preferred over a Ninja tank, simply because Diabolos' physical attacks will wake the Paladin up from Nightmare first, and the Paladin is then free to wake the White Mage up with Cure. A plan against Nightmare is very important in this battle, so don't underestimate it.

Of course, you could have everybody bring in a Vile Elixir +1, but I don't think people are willing to risk that much money on one fight. ^^

In any case, it's onto the Level 50 cap series of the Promathia missions- good luck for those who have yet to attempt this!


Darya said...

I went as WHM,I used spicy crackers as my food to help resist sleep. I also brought 2 regen drinks, Pama Au lait ^^. Both times I have gone we had no stun for nightmare. On my first attempt we actually fought him on Darks day... >_<
Anyways I am 2/3 on Diablos ^^. The crackers and Regen drinks go a long way

Strawberrie said...

God this fight sounds ridiculous. I'm nowhere near Diabolos yes, and I'm kind of glad after reading that. ><;

Kirsteena said...

Oh my word... I'm on Diabolos next, as we are current farming chips. Useful to know about a paladin tank, as we normally take a nin with us. Riverne Site A01 was bad enough...