[FFRK] Omega

I ended up putting Omega off and to be honest, had almost forgotten that he was there. But at last, on the final day, he has been mastered. Go me I guess. Omega is weak to both lightning spells and stop so the strategy obviously is to keep him stopped as much as possible while nuking him down. In addition to having a SUPER high resistance and an array of AoE attacks/counters, Omega does two annoying things of note: Blind all and reflect-self.

I had originally tried having two white mages spamming stop in an attempt to keep him from casting anything at all for the duration of the fight. Unfortunately, because stop has a short duration (6 seconds) and a 30% miss rate, that was difficult to manage. It was much easier to just deal with blind than to avoid it altogether. Also, dedicating two characters instead of only one to casting stop is a significant DPS loss. Since Omega has a 1 stamina cost (versus Exdeath’s 60 stamina cost lol), it was kind of fun experimenting with odd party configurations. Ultimately, this is what worked for me:

Character Ability 1 Ability 2 Record Materia
 Cloud  Thundara Strike  Thundaga Strike  Dragoon’s Determination
 Tyro  Swift Bolt  Swift Bolt  Vow of Vengeance
 Rinoa  Thundaga  Thundaja  Attunement II
 Sazh  Esuna  Mental Breakdown  Self-Sacrifice
 Aerith  Stop  Stop  Planet Guardian

RW: Boon for Hastega. Boon was cast at the beginning of the fight then again at the half-way point. Stop did drop off several times, but hastega helped significantly. If blind was cast, Sazh would Esuna Cloud and then himself; Everything else was offensive Black Magic and bypassed blind. Sazh would otherwise spam Mental Breakdown to allow the casters to do as much damage as possible.

Cloud attacked with Thundara/aga Strike and with his SSB when the bar was filled. Rinoa Reflected Thundaga/ja spells off of Aerith’s auto-reflect just in case stop dropped off and reflect was cast upon Omega. It is worth noting that the auto-reflect RM did last the entire fight. So with both Omega’s blind and reflect dealt with, the only major RNG factor was whether or not stop landed or not. Other than that, Shellga (from Boon) allowed my party to eat an AoE or two of any landed.

I found Swift Bolt to be an excellent alternative to Thundaga/ja if you do not have enough orbs to create a duplicate spell for a second black mage. In addition to being easy to create/hone, it has about half the cast time, ignores resistance, and bypasses reflect. Since I did not know how long auto-reflect would last and did not have enough ability space to include Reflect, the idea was that only one character would be rendered useless if it dropped off of Aerith.

Since I don’t have Shadow or Thancred’s relic, I felt that Tyro was the strongest ninja choice. He has a fairly high baseline magic stat and is beefier in general than the other ninjas, on top of being able to use literally any item.

[FFRK] Melusine and Exdeath (Ultimate) Postmortem

Did everyone have a happy holidays? I hope so. *Sigh* I am 4 Major Ice Orbs short of honing Full Break to R2. Looking at the event forecast, it looks like I will be waiting a while :-|. Anyway, now that orb farming and holiday madness are for the most part over, I finally had some time to complete the bonus battles for the FFV event and Omega (will do a separate post later).

This one wasn’t too hard for a +++ encounter. I used the, “put her to sleep and burn her house down” strategy. Melusine will rotate elemental weaknesses throughout the fight. Her first elemental weakness however is always fire. The idea is to perma-sleep her so that she never rotates weaknesses and spam her to death with fire spells. All attacks need to be magic only since any physical offensive ability will break sleep. This strategy obviously requires a decently outfitted mage crew. 2x Firaga R5 and 1x Firaja R3 was sufficient for me, but I do have decent mage gear. Mileage may vary.

Character Ability 1 Ability 2 Record Materia
 Tyro  Mana’s Paen  Sleep  Devotion
 Vivi  Firaga  Sleep  Impetuous Youth
 Rinoa  Firaja  Ruinga  Attunement II
 Krile  Firaga  Valefor  Vow of Vengeance
 Lenna  Shellga  Sleep  Prayer of Cetra

RW: Boon for hasteaga. Tyro alternated between casting Sleep and Mana’s Paen (boost magic all). Lenns was either on standby or spamming sleep depending on whether or not Tyro’s sleep landed. Everyone else just spammed offensive magic. Because Sleep is super cheap to create/hone and also because Sleep seems to have a shitty hit rate (30% if I recall correctly), I equipped Vivi wit ha third sleep spell which was needed during my run.

The idea of course is to sleep-lock Melusine. If she gets a cast off, you may need to S/L. I gimped resistance in favor if upping magic so her -aga spells one-shot my casters. If all goes well, you shouldn’t take any damage. Overall, it is a pretty easy encounter to master as long as you have enough fire power to burn her d own (literally).

Exdeath (Ultimate)
Exdeath was a fun fight, challenging, well designed, and not too RNG dependent though the AoE tornadoes are bullshit. If there was one bad thing that I had to say about this encounter it would be that it is kind of a gear wall that serves to highlight how important certain relics are. That said, I don’t have a hasteaga or wall relic and still beat it. One could also say the same about literally every other boss fight.

RNGesus was not in my favor and I did have to S/L several times after a string of attempts where I would receive back to back to back tornadoes. Of all abilities that Exdeath uses, Doom is probably the most benign. If the fight takes longer than 60 seconds, you are probably either dead or out of abilities anyways. I had originally tried two separate mage meta party configurations; Both of which failed due to the casters being utterly eaten alive. Another attempt using a physical only party (+ 2 healers) worked:

Character Ability 1 Ability 2 Record Materia
 Cloud  Firaga Strike  Drain Strike  Self-Sacrifice
 Bartz Thundaga Strike  Drain Strike  SOLDIER’s Pride
 Gilgamesh  Power Break  Magic Break  Dragoon’s Determination
 Aerith  Curaga  Carbuncle  Mako Might
 Lenna  Renewing Cure  Shellga  Light of the Faith

RW: Lunatic High for Protectga and Hastega.  I don’t have great FFV armor record synergy, so things hurt. To combat the amount of damage that I was taking and the amount of healing required, I ended up using Drain Strike on two spellblades on top of full mitigation (shellga/protectga/offensive breaks). I really wish that I had enough orbs leftover to hone both Firaga and Thundaga strike past R2 but since both spellblades spent the majority of the fight spamming Drain Strike to self-heal, it didn’t really matter I guess. Drain Strike + Planet Protector does decent damage, about 8K if I recall correctly.

When Exdeath hits 50% health, he will take two attacks per turn and for the most part will spam single target magic attacks on your party. I cast Carbuncle at about 40% to 45% health to get reflect up. I have Carbuncle honed to R2. Only 1 cast should be needed but having 2 available would be safer just in case he gets an unlucky dispel off before hitting 50% (Dispel all drops off of his ability table when he is under 50%). I didn’t master this encounter, but got close. I ate several unlucky AoEs towards the very end of the fight that killed off Aerith and Lenna. I may go back and try to master it, just wish it wasn’t 60 stamina a pop.

A Year in Gaming: 2015

I have a permanent “gaming resolution” in place to play through the untouched half of my Steam library. As expected, there was not much progress on that front in 2015 but at the least, I didn’t really add to the pile. We did not game a lot during the first quarter of 2015 because we purchased a house and moved. So overall in 2015, a large part of our gaming time and energy was redirected into house things and playing with the kitten.

I feel that it is worth noting that the sole criteria for “winning” an award is my personal enjoyment. The best game of the year to me would be the one that I enjoyed playing the most regardless of whether or not it was actually a good game.

Keiya’s Game of the Year: The Witcher 3
This choice was weighted very heavily by the fact that I am an outright fangirl of both the Witcher books as well as the games. Furthermore, I absolutely love open world games as gritty fantasy everything. The combination of all three of those things on top of the Witcher 3’s story, which I do feel is actually good independent of my specific needs, makes it the absolute bees knees for me. So in terms of amount of pure enjoyment derived from any game played this year, The Witcher 3 is an easy winner for me.

Dave’s Game of the Year: Overwatch
This morning, I quickly asked my husband what he considered his game of the year to be. His answer, before returning to Diablo 3 grinding was: “Overwatch because it is an extremely polished, fun, and non-bullshitty experience.” I’ll have to agree with that. In fact, Overwatch (spoiler) is one of, if not the game that I am looking forward to the most in 2016.

Mobile Game of the Year: Final Fantasy Record Keeper
Final Fantasy Record Keeper is one of those mobile games but I feel that it is at the very least, the lesser of the evils in regards to F2Pness. It has a surprising amount of strategy and depth mixed in with a decent amount of polish and general Final Fantasy nostalgia. The events are well spaced and of a reasonable quality. Of all games this year, I have probably spent the most time (play + thinking space) on FFRK by virtue of accessibility.

Not F2P Mobile Game of the Year: Pixel Dungeon
I don’t remember if I blogged about this game or not. Pixel Dungeon is a traditional fantasy themed roguelike that I play incessantly during lunch. If I am not playing Final Fantasy Record Keeper, I am using playing Pixel Dungeon. If you enjoy games such as FTL and well…Rogue, you will probably enjoy this game. It is also actively updated and available on virtually any platform.

Best Half-finished Game (as in played but not to completion): Fallout 4
I don’t know. I really enjoy Fallout 4 and intend on finishing it but I just sort of put it down for the holidays.

Best Half-finished Game (as in still in beta/development): Overwatch
I yearn for this game. As mentioned before, of all games slated for a 2016, Overwatch is the title that I am probably looking foward to playing the most.

The 2015 Game That I Own and am Looking Forward to Playing the Most: Undertale
I have word from the entire Internet that Undertale is good and possibly game of the year worthy.

The Consolation Prize: Metal Gear Solid V
MGSV wasn’t my favorite game, but it was one that I really enjoyed playing so I wanted it to be mentioned somewhere. If you are at all familiar with it’s development history, it’s probably a small miracle that we were even able to play it at all.

Most Disappointing Game of the Year: None
Same as 2014: I don’t think bought and played anything that was outright terrible. In general, we tend to only buy games that we know we will like. Everything else can be passed or scooped up for $2 on a Steam sale. Having low expectations for certain things helps as well.

[FFRK] 4* Ability & Honing Guide

At this point in the game, there are a crapton of 4* abilities available and not all of them are really all that great. Here is a short list of 4* abilities that I feel are worth creating and honing. Just as a general disclaimer: Though I did try to make this list as generic as possible (no cheese strategies, etc), like all things FFRK, overall usefulness of a particular ability will depend on your party makeup, abilities available, SB’s, and so forth. I have a tendency to lean towards physical damage parties. My typical party makeup is: 1 Healer, 1 Hybrid Black Mage, 1 Cloudblade Spellblade, 1 Support, 1 other physical. I don’t use summons all that often, thus the reason why none are listed.

Support & Healing Abilities
If I had to choose an ability to create first out of everything listed on this page it would be Magic Breakdown.

Magic Breakdown
Unlike physical damage, magical damage cannot be mitigated by backrow parties. Magical damage is also heavily used in the and needed to avoid being instagibbed in many of the higher level boss fights.

Shellga & Protectga
Yay mitigation. Don’t bother honing either of these past R2. One cast lasts for quite some time. There are other mitigation options in the form of certain relics, bard abilities, etc. Regardless, I would say that it is worth creating these abilities. Depends on your party makeup though.

Steal Power
If you can fit a character with a high thief skill into your party, Steal Power superior to Power Breakdown. In addition to a longer duration, it offers a 50% attack buff. Keep in mind however, that this ability does not in itself do any damage and that the buff does not stack with any other attack buff (such as Planet Protector, etc). Because I have Aerith pimped out with Planet Protector, I usually end using Power Breakdown (mostly because I already had it honed to R3 by the time Steal Power was released :/).

Armor/Mental Breakdown/Steal Armor
Steal Armor > Armor Breakdown. Obviously, use Armor Breakdown for physical parties and Mental Breakdown for mage parties. If you are a completionist or have spare orbs available, these abilities may be worth getting. Otherwise to be honest, all of these abilities kind of fall under the “filler” category.

If you use a character with a low mind stat for tanky healing (like Pecil for example), then Curaja is to get a decent heal of any sorts. Otherwise, I have never felt the need to use anything higher than Renewing Cure or Curaga on any of my white mages.

Elemental Damage
The elemental strikes are included in this category because of the role they fulfill and the fact that their orb usage heavily overlaps with the -ja/-ga spells. Keep in mind however that these are physical abilities and that damage output is attack based.

Of the elemental spells, Waterja is the least resisted, has the fastest cast time, and is fairly easy to make.

The power creep is real. There will be a point/already are certain bosses where -ga spells simply do not put out enough damage. The order at which you craft and hone these abilities is up to your preference I guess? Bioga seems to be pretty easy to farm, not very often resisted, and a weakness on many bosses. On the other hand, it does have a lower damage multiplier than the other ja spells so many only be a higher priority if your ages already hit or are at least close to the damage cap. I personally use Thundaja a lot so I chose to hone that one first (magitek + all mechanical things are weak to thunder damage).

I would argue that this ability may be worth crafting first along side Waterja. Being a white mage spell, it doesn’t use any of the same orbs as the other -ja/-ga abilities if I recall correctly, so it should be fairly easy to craft and hone; As long as you have Shellga and Protectga crafted that is as both of those spells should take precedence.

Non-elemental AoE damage. Ignore Quake, use Ruinga. Great for AoE bosses and nuking Daily Dungeons.

Thundaga/Firaga Strike
Both of these abilities are in the same boat as Thundaja and Firaja.

Physical Damage
I personally have a preference for Dismissal and have used it quite a bit. Pound though is decent for combat characters with a limited selection.

It’s like Pound damage wise but has a chance to interrupt. Celerity isn’t that uncommon of a skill so Dismissal it usually pretty easy to squeeze in. It doesn’t however have a great proc rate, so unless you create and hone multiple copies it may suffer from filleritis like Pound. If I had to choose between either Pound or Dismissal: Dismissal.

Straight up single target physical damage. Pound is a combat ability so it is widely usable. I don’t think this is stated anywhere on the actual ability but it has a 100% hit rate so no missing even when blinded! On the downside, Pound is kind of a filler spell at best: It only does 15% more damage than Launch and doesn’t really do anything special (no buffs or debuffs). It also needs to be honed to be useful.

AoE physical damage. Great for trash clearing and AoE bosses. If you have a Samurai that you drag along often (such as Sephiroth), I would choose Yukikaze over Bladeblitz for the chance to blind all. Keep in mind that both of these abilities require Greater Power Orbs, which complete with the Breakdowns.

Merry Christmas

First Christmas in the new house and first time that we have purchased an actual tree. I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas before getting ready to cook. Whatever you do today and whatever you celebrate, may it be filled with happiness.

[FFRK] Orb Fest, Narshe+++, Etc

First and foremost, with the plethora of upcoming events, I created a small calendar for personal use to help keep track of them. I am sure that there are a thousand of these on the internet, but I was bored. Unfortunately/fortunately? Most of the events seem to overlap, meaning that stamina is going to have to be prioritized. Orb wise, I would really like to hone Full Break to R2 so that means: Festive Fantasy phases (aka Orb Fest) 2, 3, and 4 are going to be important. Phase 4 probably being the most important because who doesn’t need Power Orbs?

I am pretty stocked on White, Holy, and Earth orbs so Phase 2 will be used to complete the Blood Madness Bonus Battles. Once Veil of Memories starts, enough stamina will of course be allocated to snatch the RM2 Crystals. This is all assuming that I am even going to able to or interested in playing Final Fantasy Record Keeper on or around Christmas (busy busy fun party time). If anyone else finds this of use, here you go.

Valigarmanda isn’t that super RNG dependent so therefore, not that irritating of a fight to complete. He also does pure magical damage so drop Defense in favor of Resistance. The general strategy that I chose is to: Get magical mitigation up ASAP, cast reflect on a spell blade, have the spell blade use Fira/ga strike on the boss, have the black mage cast Firaga on the reflected party member to avoid the counter, have Shadow not die.

The trick is, at least for my setup, to get Magic Breakdown and Shellga off before the first AoE Blizzard. With full mitigation it only hits for around 500 to 700 a pop versus well over 1k. Since I had a group regen up on all party members earlyish into the fight, that took the edge off of the AoE. Celes was more or less self sustainable with Drain Strike and Aerith just sat and spammed Curaga for anyone who got too low on health. His single target spells do hurt but are more manageable than the constant AoE spam

I don’t have Firaga Strike or Firaja honed enough to last for the duration of this fight so I used Fira Strike and Firaga instead. Fira Strike hit him for max damage and Firaga hit him for about 6k to 7k. Reflect did need to be applied roughly half way through the fight. Shellga was recast at about the same time as a precaution.

  • Celes: Fira Strike. Drain Strike when approaching/below half health
  • Setzer: Alternate between Magic and Defense Breakdown
  • Shadow: Dismissal/RW bot. Magic Break backup just in case
  • Setzer runs out of Magic Breakdown (which he did at the end of the fight)
  • Terra: Cast Firaga on Celes do that it reflects on the boss
  • Aerith: Shellga + spam heals + planet protector when possible

[FFRK] Reunion with Ginnem+++ Cheese

Yojimbo wasn’t all that hard of a fight with full physical mitigation.  He does have a few AoE attacks but as a whole, most of this fight is comprised of a single target physical attacks. Keep in mind however that you are eating two physical attacks per round since Diagoro will also single target attack your party (he is not targettable). All-in-all though, it is a perfect setup for a retaliate strategy.

I seldom utilize the advantaliate or tauntaliate strategy because I do not find it to be a particularly interesting style of play. In the time that it took me to perfect my cheese strategy for this boss fight. Interestingly enough, it probably would have been way way easier to just solo the fight with either Cloud or Auron. The difficult part of this fight is of course competing the fight without Lulu and Wakka dying.

The Target Score goals for this fight are to: Attack him with Fire and win with both Lulu and Wakka alive. Keep in mind that petrify will effectively remove a character from combat without technically killing them allowing the retaliator to receive more damage bonus from Loner and receive all attacks. In short: You will want Lulu to cast Firaja on the boss, petrify Wakka, petrify herself, advantaliate the rest off the fight. I found it easier to have Wakka cast Power Breakdown during the first round as that did reduce much of his damage. If you can time it right, you can probably get a Full Break off before he is petrified. In my game, I didn’t think it was worth the risk of Lulu eating another attack and dying just for a Full Break (their attack speed seems to be fairly high). Ultimately, it wasn’t necessary. Setup

Character Ability 1 Ability 2 Record Materia
Cloud Retaliate Drain Strike Loner
Wakka Full Break Power Breakdown Bastion
Lulu Break Firaja Sky Pirate’s Pride
Roaming Warrior: Advance

With FFX Record Synergy, Cloud has a total attack of 402. With the Loner Record Materia, he gets a 20% damage (not attack) bonus for each empty slot. I do believe that Petrified characters still give the Loner buff. So that would be a total of 80% bonus damage for each retaliate. Nice.

First Round:
Lulu: Firaja on boss
Wakka: Power Breakdown on Boss

Second Round:
Lulu: Break on Wakka
Wakka: Full Break if you can get one off before petrify.

Third Round:
Cloud: Drain Strike if Cloud ate too much damage, otherwise retaliate.

Fourth Round:
Cloud: Advance

You obviously have to S/L if either Lulu or Wakka dies or if either of them aren’t petrified before Break runs out of charges. I ended up refreshing retaliate every other round. So: Retaliate > Something else > Retaliate and so forth.