01 September, 2005

Tiamat! {Run away!}

While I was randomly checking the Windurst Woods AH for some materials to skillup my Bonecraft a little further, I happened to chance upon Donnie, the leader of BBQGold. Giving him my customary /poke as I walked by, he waved back and told me that BBQ was going to go for Tiamat in a few hours, and asked if I would like to come along.

Well, since he asked so nicely....umm...sure! ^^

Unlike Jormungand, I was put into the main alliance for the fight, mostly because I think we had a shortage of Black Mages. When we started out, there were just four of us, and the BLM party consisted of us four, a BRD, and a RDM/DRK. We didn't have that many tanks either, just two, and so Donnie cooked up this plan to tank Tiamat with few Ninjas.

The plan basically involved having the Black Mages assist with curing the tanks, although that soon led to certain complications afterwards, which quite ruffled my hat. In the end, we went through four different Ninjas, and a Paladin who had to quickly step in when all the Ninjas died and hell broke loose for about two minutes, but I won't go into the details. For now, I'll just give you the Tiamat fight from my viewpoint, from the Black Mage alliance.

For one, I think there was a lot of room for improvements in this fight. Despite the fact that the alliance was feeling a little cobbled together, the core was in place, being the Ninja tanks, the Black Mages, and the damage dealers/Trick Attackers. The plan was to pull Tiamat over to one of the cliffsides, and tank Tiamat with him facing the cliffwall. The Black Mages would stand on Tiamat's side, in a nearby tuft of grass that supposedly was close enough to hit Tiamat with magic, although because Tiamat was on a higher level, the Black Mages there would not get hit by Tiamat's AoE damage.

However, things rarely go as planned.

For one, the Ninjas had a lot of trouble holding Tiamat to one spot, facing the wall. This wouldn't normally be a problem, but remember that Tiamat is a dragon, and as such, can Spike Flail. Thus, direction is very important in this fight since if something goes wrong and Tiamat turns his back to the alliance, one Spike Flail is pretty much "game over".

However, there were numerous times where Tiamat's back was facing us, and I was getting very concerned about what might happen should a Spike Flail come. Because the Ninjas had trouble securing hate, for some reason, the people who could Trick Attack also could not get their trick attacks to land. As a result, Tiamat was mving around a lot, and as such, us Black Mages had a problem regarding that little "sweet spot" where we'd be safe.

First off, Tiamat moves, so we have to adjust accordingly. The greater concern is what happens if Tiamat moves out of range? Tiamat is so large, it is rather difficult to judge just how far away he is, and now we have a dilemma. Initially, our plan was to stun Firaga III and maintain a Stun "rhythm" while Tiamat is in the air, and Stun once more when Tiamat readies Touchdown. However, that soon changed to just Stunning Firaga III.

Firaga III is rather bad for us since, other than the obvious damage implications, dealing such damage to our Ninjas cause them to lose hate, as well as erasing all of their shadows. As such, it was our job to make sure that Firaga III does not resolve. But if Tiamat moves, now what? If we stood where we were, we'd be safe from the AoE, but risk Tiamat being out of range for Stun. If we moved closer, we could be sure we'd hit the Stun, but we'd take damage from the AoE. Either way, we got yelled at. The fact that Tiamat kept moving wasn't exactly helping, either. -_-

Stunning Firaga III isn't exactly terribly easy either. Tiamat essentially has a pseudo-Chainspell whereby he casts Firaga III incredibly fast. Fast to the point where yelling {Stun}! in /party chat is not enough because by the time you see it, it is already too late to Stun. That being said, it is still very possible to do so, but to catch the "Tiamat starts casting Firaga III" amidst all the battle spam, is rather taxing.

Also, I felt that the Stun cycle was all too long. When we started out, we had a chain of five stunners. While that is all fine if the intention is to keep a Stun rhythm up while Tiamat's in the air, it leads to a lot of confusion over whose turn it is to stun Tiamat's next Firaga III, especially when a rather lengthy amount of time has elapsed. That, and while frequent, Tiamat doesn't cast Firaga all that often, so I felt this was one area that could have definitely been improved upon.

Finally, there were a lot of conflicting orders. On multiple occasions, I was watching the chat box for the almighty "Tiamat starts casting Firaga III," when suddenly out of the blue, a Ninja starts getting hit and now lines of "KEEP (so-and-so) ALIVE AT ALL COSTS!!!" comes flashing across the screen. Now then, what exactly does "at all costs" entail? Giving up the Stun duty? Or do I keep my finger on the macro to make sure that I am ready to Stun? Spend my Stun prematurely (which was what I ended up doing)? Sometimes, we'd go and Cure, then miss the Firaga and get yelled at. Other times, we'd keep Stunning, and accusing yells of "Nobody in the black mage party even bothered to Cure me!" would come by soon afterwards.

I really was contemplating just Warping back to save myself the trouble of dealing with all this. Honestly, there's enough to cope with already without having people bark out orders and complaints. I'm not so sure I even want to go to another dragon run now. Respect is one thing I feel is very important to a linkshell, and I found such conduct rather offputting.

Anyway, some four hours later, we're about to defeat Tiamat (5% HP), when, evidently oblivious to what happened at Jormungand, someone activated Chainspell and started Stunning. That set everybody else on {Full attack!} and before we realised what was going on, it was too late to stop the gears set in motion.

Unlike Jormungand, Tiamat doesn't go nuts within inches of death, so there was no need to start the Chainspell-Stun cycle that early. Secondly, there was one aspect about Chainspell-Stun that Donnie was suppusedly going to address before it started, but didn't get the opportunity to do so- The Chainspell Stun must be done at Tiamat's front leg.

This is to ensure that after getting hate from Tiamat, Tiamat does not turn towards the mage alliance. As it turned out, the Red Mages got hate, and Tiamat turned to deal with the offender, except unfortuantely, Tiamat turned with his back to the alliance.

What happened next is a perfect example of why you should never have Tiamat's back to the linkshell. At 1% health, Tiamat turned around, and...


BBQ is pretty much unofficially known as the "1% LS". It's really quite embarrassing, and annoying that because of a failed lesson against Jormungand, four hours of forty people were wasted. Not to mention that with LimitBreak watching from behind us, I'm pretty sure that the HNM world now knows that BBQ wiped to both Jormungand and Tiamat with both at 1% health...ah well.

I'm not sure if after what transpired today, I want to go on another dragon hunt. Sure, it's cool and all that, but the way people yell at each other and all the pointing fingers and accusations, I'm really not sure I want to go through all that again.

Finally, I'm not sure if anyone from BBQ will read this, but there are some improvements I could see being made to the Tiamat strategy. For one, the Ninjas and the trick attackers really need to sharpen their act. It might be little odd, but if you create the tanking PT to be NIN, NIN, NIN, healer (leader), and two melee. have the leader swap out members as necessary, including replacing dead tanks, and also have everyone who can Trick Attack build TP and get Trick Attack ready. Then, have the leader swap in Trick attackers, and swamp them out after TA has landed. Kinda similar to how one swaps out BLMs versus Kirin, and this should help plant hate onto the Ninjas.

Secondly, the BLM party could be organised as BLM, BLM, BLM, BLM, BRD, RDM. However, instead of keeping a Stun cycle of 4 (or 5, if RDM/DRK), split the BLMs into two pairs, and have each pair alternate stunning Firaga III. Sure, one Stun will probably have no effect, but if that's the case, then Firaga has been stunned and the job is done. Since Tiamat doesn't cast Firaga III that often, this should provide enough cover against Firagas, and provide better Stun cover for Firaga, since it is not affected if one person is a little slow, or gets lagged out. Having just two alternating groups also makes it easy to remember whose Stun is next. You can even take this further by having the BLMs pull back after they've stunned, where they can move to a safer distance, and them come forward when it's their turn.

Ah well, that's all the thoughts for now. ^^


Chummy said...

I'm glad you got a blog, when I'm bored at work and got nothing to do, this really helps pass the time. =D

Strawberrie said...

ROFL what a lucky bastard!

Tiamat readies Spikeflail.
Sefiroth evades.