29 March, 2006

Monk party!

One of the reasons I've been leveling up my Red Mage was to help get more data on certain xp camps for my compilation, which, for the most part as been rather successful as far as data collection has gone. However, in terms of filling out data for the higher end merit parties, my Black Mage has been able to gather all the data I need except for one piece of information.

Information regarding a KRT Monk party. (Actually, this isn't quite true- I still need data on the Ulli camp in sky. ^^;)

For obvious reasons, Black Mages have no role in a MNK PT, rampaging through the lower levels of King Ranpere's Tomb. In fact, MNK PTs are probably one of the most stagnant party setups I've ever come across, as far as variations and flexibility goes. MNK parties are practically always MNK MNK MNK BRD RDM WHM, with the only real choice being whether to replace either the RDM or WHM for a fourth MNK (which doesn't really happen too often).

The reason for this is that mana is your #1 enemy here. MNK parties do fantastic damage to the undead, however, they themselves take a sizable amount of damgae, and a lot of curative magic is required. Even with two Ballads and a Refresh, a White Mage's mana pool seems to shrink with frightenting speed, which is a problem when you want to gun for the really, really high chains MNK parties are known to get.

At least a RDM has his or her Convert timer to fall back upon, but good 'ol fashioned mana conservation and regeneration are the key to keeping the WHM active, and believe me, you'll want an active WHM.

Anyway, I've been leveling my RDM up as a second job to 75, but also in the hopes that I'd join a MNK party so I can answer some of the question I had. MNK parties are not by any means completely foreign to me, since I've heard stories, and have on occasion seen MNKs passing through KRT while manaburning there in the old days, but there were some specific details that I wanted, in particular, the route(s) the party would take.

Ironically, I was busy hanging out with Sakurato after just completing our duo'ed Brothers ENM when it caught my attention that there was a BRD75 lfg, with a static MNK. A quick search revealed no parties in KRT, as well as a seeking WHM, and two more MNK75s.

I was debating whether I should try forming a party based on this, but by the time I disbanded the party with Sakurato and made up my mind, the Bard was gone. Such is the nature of indecision, I guess. ; ;

I really wanted to go on a MNK party though, so I did another search and noticed that there were no seeking RDMs within 73-75. I decided to put up my lfp flag in the hopes I'd be noticed, and get invited as a RDM72. ^^

Sure enough, a few minutes later, I get the tell:

{Hello!}{Monk}{Party}{Do you need it?}

As some would put it, "Hooooowwwwwwwwwwww lucky!" ^^

The party setup was, as expected, three Monks, a Bard, a White Mage, and myself. I quickly changed over to a White Mage subjob, and then it was off to King Ranperre's Tomb!

I have to admit though, it had been a very long time since I had last set foot in KRT, which is strange, since I remember manaburning in KRT quite a lot whilst leveling my Black Mage. In fact, I actually dinged 75 in King Ranperre's Tomb itself, so it's rather strange that I've since abandoned the KRT as my haunt (no pun intended). I guess part of it is due to the rather low numbers a party of 75s get when killing Spartoi Warriors. I mean, why settle for low numbers when you can manaburn in the Lufaise Meadows for generally better xp?

I've also since gained a dislike towards manaburning for merit points, partially because I think I've been spoilt by Sakurato's and Xmode's merit parties, too. In any case, somehow, manaburning just isn't as interesting as it used to be. Sakurato and I were actually in a Lufaise Meadows manaburn a while ago, and it was sooo boring, both of us nearly fell asleep. ^^;

In any case, we snuck down to the Strange Apparatus to make our initial preparations and heal up mana, and then, we were off!

I have to admit, Monk parties are incredibly hectic for the mages. Between Hasting, Refreshing, taking off status ailments, Silencing, Dispelling, and Curing, I barely had any time to do anything, and was practically casting non-stop from the get-go. It was kinda fun though, and as time passed by, I felt our Bard wasn't pulling aggressively enough, so I then took it upon myself to pull as well. ^^

Of course, certain concessions needed to be made, but eventually, I settled upon taking it easy, and hanging out at the back row with the White Mage for Chains #1 through to #5, before moving up front and pulling for Chains #6+. Besides, being able to pull a Lemure or Spartoi Sorcerer with Silence really does help speed the kills up, since you're not stuck waiting for a spell to be interrupted before the mob actually, y'know, starting walking over to you. (Especially if it's Ancient Magic. -_-)

I knew that Lemures were one of the big "speed bumps" a MNK party encounters, mostly because unlike skeletons, Lemures are incredibly resistant to blunt attacks. However, a White Mage's Banish III temporarily removes this resistance, letting the MNKs do full damage. I was then told that, if our WHM was busy, I could also Banish II to give the same effect.

Much to my embarrassment, I then found out that Banish II was one of those spells I skipped along the way whilst leveling WHM. >_<


Hey, never did I expect I'd need to use Banish II, of all things! (Although I did have a similar situation in Promyvion-Vahzl, when I realised I couldn't cast Stonega II. ^^;)

I also found it really funny when all the monks would simultaneously unload Asuran Fists on the skeleton, killing it almost instantly. However, in the cases where there was some semblance of communication going on, we actually had a full Light skillchain going in the form of {Asuran Fists}→{Raging Fists} (Fusion)→{Dragon Kick} (Light)!

Anyway, we kept at "the loop" for a few hours, until it got to the point where I myself, was actually getting a little bit dizzy from running around in circles over and over again. Our killing rate was pretty good though, and we'd find ourselves completing the loop just in time for the mobs to respawn where we were.

Despite our best efforts though, Chain #20 was the highest we were able to get. I sent /tells to Nappycat and Hirushi, asking about this, and they said that it was because we were on the loop that we were getting just #20. To put it simply in their words, "the loop sucks."

Their recommendation was to take the other MNK party route, that starts not too far away from the loop, but instead works its way towards Vrtra's room in the far east of King Ranperre's Tomb. I suggested this, and we decided to try it just once, since it was rather late, and shifted camp.

The Vrtra route certainly has a lot more mobs to kill, but just feels more dangerous. In fact, we actually had two deaths on the Vrtra route itself. I can also sort of see how one can get the really high chains on the Vrtra route, but another thing I noticed was how good pulling helps with the chains.

For example, there was a section on the Vrtra route that, when we passed through, was rather long and devoid of mobs. There was no way we'd be able to run the distance over to the next set of mobs, and still keep the chain when you have barely a minute to actually kill the next mob before the time limit expires.

Then it came to my realisation that this was an area with a bad pull. Getting blood aggro, one of the Mnks attracted the attention of not only the skeleton he was trying to pull with Provoke, but the attention of the five Skeletons around it. We managed to defeat them all with the help of a few two-hour abilities, but that in turn left the room empty, and so, the run to the next set of mobs was long.

The better plan would be to pull them one by one, safely, so that they formed a stepping stone path of sorts, letting the party inch closer and closer to the next set of mobs, so that the interval isn't large.

Time passed really quickly in that party. In fact, we spent a good 3-4 hours down there, and it only felt like just two hours or so. Nevertheless, because of its hectic nature, I became very tired towards the end of the party, so I was happy to have it end. All in all, I got some 30k xp, dinging RDM73 in the process, so overall, very satisfied. ^^

I'd like another MNK party someday, that's for sure. ^^


Kirsteena said...

You have never done an Ulli camp party... damn you are lucky. Random six person party, pulling aura statues for hours, only to see the damn NM be kited by gilsellers for 30 minutes while his buddies arrive...


Another good option for rdm and high level parties is warrior parties, at the front deco camps in the Shrine of Ru'Avitau. 4xwar/nin, 1 brd 1 rdm main healing, spamming Rampage. Bard usually pulls with elegy, and with 4 war with shadows, healing is fairly light - I was having no problem making my Elvaan mp last easily till my next convert. Chain 11 easily, chain 12 if the mobs were in the right place. 10k an hour easily.

wyred said...

What data do you need for ulli camp?

All I can say is, it's enough for just 1 good party there.

Start at either the room you warp in or the corridor to the other warp at the north end. Once your PT clears everything, move to middle camp where ulli spawns and start fighting there.

It'll be easier to pull and anyone in your PT can pull.

Nivaud said...

Being 75RDM and 74BRD and in a LS with 6 level 75MNKs...I get MNK parties alot. Yes, Vrtra route is more mobs but the chains are based almost solely on how well the BRD pulls. The pulling/sleeping is vital and the BRD MUST know when there is a huge gap with no mobs.

At this point the brd needs to pull one and immedietly return for another mob, getting it as soon as possible, but here's where many BRDs go wrong. They pull the Spartoi back to the party. You need to lead the party on, and lullaby it about 2/3rds from where you pulled it. Then go and grab another and lullably it about 1/3rd from where you pulled it.

This is necessary to keep that chain alive and move the party towards the pool of mobs far away. As a BRD puller sometimes I feel like it's the party I'm dragging along sometimes, because MNK h=just wanna KIRR KIRR KIRR HERE! Unfortunetly my highest chain is Chain #34 there. Something always seems to happen (Lemures are the worst). If the WHM doesn't Banish III a Lemures or if a sleepga gets through and hits your party, your chain is gone.

I prefer MNK parties as RDM but until I get my BRD to 75... I have become designated puller for many many MNK parties.