10 March, 2006

Flames for the Dead

Here goes.

Otherwise better known as "The Snoll Tzar fight".


We (or at least myself) had been waiting in nervous anticipation to do this fight for a long time, and we knew that it would be one of the most challenging obstacles we would face through the CoP missions. On the plus side, this also meant that the TrueRune CoP static (ver 2.0) had finally caught upto Tumble, who had already completed all of the Three Paths (except Snoll Tzar) before his old CoP static ditched him in favour of a more damage-oriented job.

And so, it was our turn. TrueRune, vs. Snoll Tzar.

For thse who are unfamiliar with the fight, here's a quick recap. It's a Level 60-cap fight in Bearclaw Pinnacle (by the Uleguerand Range) that pits you against one Snoll Tzar NM. What makes this battle so hard is that you have a grand total of 45 seconds (yes, that's seconds) to defeat him from when the Snoll Tzar aggros. Failure to do so results in Hypothermal Meltdown, killing everyone, and ejecting you from the BC. No, Hypothermal Meltdown can't be Stunned, the Snoll Tzar can't be slept, and you are ejected even if you have Reraise on.

In addition to that, the Snoll Tzar has about 8-9 thousand hit points. As Eracia mentioned over on her CoP guide (which is probably the most useful CoP resource out there, btw ^^)
Go over that one for a moment. 9000 damage. 45 seconds. Yeah. It’s not possible.
Thankfully, you can use up to three Shu'Meyu Salts, each of which effectively "buys" you an extra fifteen seconds for you to kill the Snoll Tzar, for a total of about a minute and a half to kill him, which is much more reasonable. The problem is that the Salts themselves each take fifteen seconds to use, so you're essentially trading fifteen seconds of one party member's contribution for fifteen seconds of everybody else's. Be careful not to overlap your salts though- a salt just makes it such that the next fifteen seconds do not add to the Snoll's Meltdown timer, so if you use the next Salt too early, you've lost the overlapped time.

If that wasn't enough, many people forget that the Snoll Tzar actually does a pretty damn good job at actually killing you in the limited time available, with very high damaging spells, not to mention a very nasty AoE Frost effect that eats away 32hp a tick! In addition to that, as time wears on, the Snoll Tzar grows bigger in size, and the strength of his attacks also similarly increases.

Just to reiterate, this is a party that calls for a very high output of damage. Our party setup?


Wait, is that a WHM in our party?? PLD?? THF??! (Yeah...we're doomed. -_-) Then again, there's a very nice video out there of the Spoondaggers LS's (Gilgamesh) successful Snoll Tzar fight with a DRAGOON in the party, so anything's possible! XD

Although thinking about it, I think they still have a better party setup (BLM RDM RNG THF DRG PLD) than we do. >_<

My plan was to Chainspell away a whole bunch of Fire IIs in rapid succession, and in doing so, I needed to have plenty of mana at my disposal to reap the most benefit out of the Chainspell. My original mana would be one pass through, Convert effectively gives me a second. From then on, a combination of a Vile Elixir +1 and a Pro Ether would give me a third "bar" of mana. I wasn't too happy with the 400k price tag of these though. >_<

Once at Bearclaw Pinnacle, we sat down and talked stategy for a while, waiting for Firesday to come around. We all knew that the Snoll Tzar was weak to Fire, but my main problems were our available skillchains (SAM + THF can't make a Fire-based skillchain other than SATA Cyclone -_-), and hate management. For the former, our usual skillchain is the cookie cutter Tachi: Enpi → Dancing Edge for Distortion. Unfortunately, the Snoll Tzar is Ice-based, so I had my doubts on Distortion.

Secondly, I was very sure I would get hate in the middle of Chainspell nuking, and while Seraph was confident in his ability to hold hate (especially with Invincible), I was skeptical, since I had easily pulled hate off Invincibles before (if I really wanted to).

In the end, we decided Chummy and I would focus on just Fire-based spells (Fire II and Inferno), while Akanea had this whole chain of Tachi: Enpis going along that would result in several Distortion skillchains.

We also confirmed our Salt order. We decided Tumble would go first, since with everyone at near full HP, a WHM didn't have much to do, followed by Chummy who would be waiting on his Blood Pact timer to reset. Seraph would take the final Salt, if we ever got that far. >_<

Firesday rolled around, and after making some last-minute checks, we entered. This was it!

To summarize, the latter end of the battle looked something like this:

Yeah, we lost that one. >_<

Well, to be blunt, we made quite a number of errors that just compounded that resulted in our loss. For starters, I accidentally hit my Chainspell macro instead of my Dia II macro, forcing me to go on a Fire II rampage that, while doing a whole lot of damage, literally tore hate off Seraph's Invincible (like I said it would -_-) and I found myself face down on the icy floor before the first minute was up. Heck, I didn't even get to Convert! >_<

Part of that lack of hate management was also due to the decision to SATA Dancing Edge onto Akanea, for goodness knows what reason, which while initially making sense since Seraph would take hate from the beginning, thus turning the Snoll Tzar, did little in helping Seraph keep hate for when I went berserk.

On the melee side, Tachi: Enpis were also really, really weak damage against the Snoll Tzar, and the resulting Distortion skillchain only resulted in an extra bonus 19 damage or so. -_- Finally, the Snoll Tzar had higher evasion that any of us thought, and a lot of Akanea's and Saoirse's regular attacks were whiffing on the Tzar.

At least we managed to get the Snoll Tzar down to 30% when we wiped, which I hear is pretty decent for a first attempt! XD

I have to admit though, that Snoll Tzar was HUGE by the time it had killed all of us. XD

So with that in mind, here are some lessons to learn for the next attempt:

1) I should probably nuke from the start, but not go into Chainspell mode until say, 40 seconds into the fight itself (assuming we use all 3 Salts). This gives Seraph more time to try and secure hate, ready for the big showdown.

2) Time actually isn't all that bad a crimp. Hate management was by far our bigger problem.

3) THFs actually have their use here, landing a good Trick Attack'ed weapon skill on the Paladin, to help him hold hate for when the party goes into {Full attack!} mode.

4) Tachi: Enpi is a no-no.

I guess being able to look back at the logs to see how to further maximize your damage potential is a very good thing in this fight, and such analysis would pay off on the latter battles when we are under high time constraints. Hopefully with these tweaks, victory will be ours the next time around, but first, we need to get some more salt. -_-

On the bright side, I still have my Vile Elixir +1 and my Pro Ether! XD


Akanea said...

I don't agree with some of the stuff on here. First of all, you're little comment on DRG sure doesn't help their already tarnished reputation. 2nd just because you did Chainspell on accident doesn't mean the rest of us didn't do our job. The SATA on me was wrong i agree, but thank Seraph for that. Another thing, don't make it sound like you bought all our items, it makes it sound like you are funding our entire melee side, which makes us look like leeches. This may be your blog but it's not all about you -_-.

Akanea said...

Your not you're >_> /stagger

Tuufless said...

The DRG comment is more of a playful prod, and I don't intend it to read as if having a DRG is the death of everybody in the party.

I never said that everybody else didn't do their job. Rather, pointed out the things that we could've done better, without actually saying "so-and-so didn't contribute at all."

As for your third comment, I concede that it can be read that way, so fixed it. >_<

Paul said...

Well as an outside reader, I didn't perceive the DRG as a serious jab at the job. I mean anyone at these levels knows better.

And secondly, I didn't perceive Tuufless as blaming any particular person for the wipe, just explaining the combined set of mistakes and try to keep a log in order to formulate a better strategy on the next round.

Just my .02 cents,

Frohike (Ifrit).

Strawberrie said...

The point of these posts is to let other people attempting the same mission know what to expect. If Tuufless goes over mistakes in great detail, it will just help both you, and anyone reading the Bloggaru. A loss is hard to swallow sometimes, but you can't take it out on someone just trying to put the battle in perspective.

And all *I* did during my Snoll Tzar right was use a salt for half a battle. Maybe if you fish around to see what other jobs might be available from your PT members with better two-hours, you would have much better luck. Vagus Hundred Fisted and Ristin used Mighty Strikes, and we didn't really have a tank. The best you can really do is try to overwhelm it with as much damage as you can before your face hits the ground. :-/

Akanea said...

It's not like I'm whining and complaining, it's just Tuuf is hard to do things with sometimes, and no offense but you weren't there with us, I'm just voicing my opinion of what it sounded like in his post, I'm not ranting and raving, -_-' I'm not the only one that thinks this, I'm just the only one who had the courage to comment where everyone could see and judge me. DX

Ryan Craine said...

Good try Tuuf!

wyred said...

To be honest, I still don't know why people say DRGs aren't good. Because I've partied with one before in the 60s and he outdamaged me easily.

Anyways, good luck next time to the both of you~

I can't remember how my last attempt was. I only know we had WAR and DRK as melee DDers and perhaps 1-2 BLMs.

I was asked to use axes to spam rampage with my lv23 NIN SJ, lol.