16 July, 2006
I have to say, I'm quite liking this Assault stuff. It's quick, doesn't require too many people to do, and from what I've seen, each of the various assaults seem to have a particular trick to them that does the trick. Sure, you could brute force Ilrusi Atoll's "Golden Savage" or Lebros Cavern's "Excavation Duty," but then you leave yourself open to unlucky streaks like, just not hitting the correct chest, or not having the Qiqirin Mine drop. Instead, it is just that much smarter to bring along Carbuncle to let you run away from a Mimic, or use DoT against the walls, which I'll outline in a bit.
In any case, I know I'm a little slow in actually getting my Yigit stuff, much of which has to do with a bit of laziness on my part, part of it also because of a reluctance to give up my mage hats, not to mention that most of it will only go to my Black Mage, which I don't really take out all that often. (And I'll be damned if I have to give up my Chapeau in place of a Turban!)
So, anyway. Some of you may have seen shouts in Aht Urhgan regarding 3-man Excavation Duty runs. I don't know why the overwhelming majority of these shouts are Japanese, but that only means that either (a) the English players just aren't doing it, (b) English players do their Assaults in static groups, or (c) English players just aren't aware of the strategy.
To (c)'s end, I'll attempt to illustrate the strategy for a 3-man Excavation Duty run. I've seen several "guides" around from when ToAU was first released, telling people to go about killing the Qiqirin for mines, and I can assure you that this is the wrong way to go about things. Not only are the Qiqirin a pain to kill, but you leave yourself open to the fates in the hopes that a Mine will drop.
Done correctly, this Assault will yield you 1,333 points per run (1,466 if you took the armband), so you will reach your Yigit/Amir/Pahluwan gear in about 12 runs, or just under two weeks worth of Assaults.
In any case, I'll start the explanation.
DoT is the key to beating this Assault. I generally go with BLM/WHM, RDM/BLM, and another melee, although this obviously varies. To be honest, I don't think it really matters what jobs you go as (although I suppose THF gets the shaft here), as long as you have at least one BLM/WHM, or RDM/BLM.
You will attack only the Brittle Walls. That's it. No silly Qiqirin tricks, WALLS ONRY!
For reference, my preferred setup is (BLM, RDM, MNK). However, I've done other variants of that, including (BLM, MNK, WAR/DRG), (BLM, RDM, DRG), or (BLM, DRK, MNK). You get the idea.
You start at the red dot marked. Upon entering, Invis up and head towards the first wall, at (G-10).
To take down the wall efficiently, keep all DoT spells on at all times, namely Bio II, Choke, Burn, and Shock. If you have a Black Mage, Bio's preferred over Dia because of greater DoT potential (again, more on this later).
After the first wall, Invis up and move on towards the other walls. At (G-9), the road will split. The Black Mage (or Red Mage if you don't have one), goes North and solos the wall at (G-6), using DoTs and nukes. The other two members continue East, and starts working on the wall at (H-8).
After the mage has finished his northern wall, he/she moves to rejoin the other two. Generally speaking, I've found that by the time the mage has finished with his northern wall, the other two members are finishing off their wall, so just regroup and continue. After that wall is downed, move onto the last two walls at (I-7).
If all has gone well, you will get the 10-minute warning whilst fighting your fourth wall (that is, the southern wall at (I-7)). If you do, you're more or less on schedule. Within the next couple minutes or so, you should finish that wall off, and begin work on the final wall.
The important part here is that when the 5-minute warning comes, one person needs to begin heading back to the start point, where the Ancient Lockbox and Rune of Release will pop. This is important because it takes about 3-4 minutes to walk all the way back, and you will fail the mission if you do not hit the Rune of Release, even if you have downed all five walls.
Once the fifth wall is down, hit the Ancient Lockbox, get your ??? item, Hi-Potion +3s, and Remedies, hit the Rune of Release, and voila! 1,333 Assault points up!
There are, of course variants to this strategy. A trio of Black Mages can easily wipe the floor with this Assault, simply by slapping DoTs on the walls, walking off to nuke the Qiqirin for mines, and then coming back for more. However, it's fairly difficult to find three Black Mages (given that you are one yourself), so I've outlined this strategy for everybody else's benefit.
As I said earlier, your DoT spells are the key to beating this. Most people don't understand just how much damage the DoTs do to the wall, but a full set of Bio II, Choke, Shock, Burn takes off about a quarter of an entire wall by itself, so go figure.
Because of that, nuking is, while nice, not really essential. Granted, it's nice additional damage, but I think people give nuking too much credit. Stick to tier I and tier II nukes only though- tier II nukes give greater damage/time, but drains your mana faster, which you don't really want since you need the mana to reapply the DoTs. (For reference's sake, you will need 141mp to reapply the whole set of DoTs.)
Drain also does surprisingly good damage from time to time, so be sure to fire that off every minute. Red Mages should burn their mana early on to get in three Converts within the 30-minute time limit.
But another important part here lies in your skills and stats, which is why BLMs and Bio are preferred. I don't remember where exactly this information came from, other than it was a Japanese bulletin board, but apparently some people did a lot of testing and came up with the following "tiers" for the DoT spells.
* Shock, Choke, Burn are affected by INT. In order to attain the next tier and have greater DoT, you need to have at least 101 INT.
* Bio II is affected by Dark Magic skill. For that to reach the next tier, you need a Dark Magic skill of 291 and above.
BLMs with the appropriate gear can get both INT101+ and Dark Magic 291+, which is why they are so good for this Assault, while Red Mages can get the INT, but not the skill, while Dark Knights can get the skill, but not the INT.