[FFRK] Ultimate Adel

One shot. If I had to rank bosses, I would have to say that Adel was easier than Maduin, who at least had a gimick. Adel was pretty just 100% physical DPS brute force. Since she deals out 100% magical damage and punshes magical damage with a drain counter, not a very hard party to compose. Continuing with my glove curse, I pulled yet another 5* glove during Banner #1: Gauntlet. It has an okay Soul Break (3*171% single target physical hits with haste/protect/shell) but for a B-List mediocre character. Decent enough damage with Synergy + Lifesiphon + Knight’s Charge though.

 Character  Weapon  Ability 1  Ability 2  Record Materia
 Cloud  Blitz Sword (VIII)  Lifesiphon  Drain Strike  Ace Striker
 Zell  Gauntlet (VIII)  Lifesiphon  Dismissal  Knight’s Charge
 Pecil  Blazefire Saber (XIII)+  Armor Strike  Banishing Strike  Bastion
 Irvine  Ras Algethi (XII)  Magic Breakdown  Full Break  Master Sniper
 Aerith  Sage’s Staff (V)  Curaga  Shellha  Dr. Mog’s Teachings

Roaming Warrior: Tyro (Sentinel’s Grimoire)
Notable Soul Breaks: Blade Beam, Meteor Barrage, Planet Protector

Shellga + Full Break + Magic Breakdown + Sentinel’s Grimoire effectively neutered Adel for most of the fight. In summary: Set up mitigation as soon as possible, build up your SB gauge, reapply wall/shellga at about 50% health, then go to town with SB/SSB spam. As always, Planet Protector + any multi-hit SB with a decent multiplier is MVP this fight.

Adel’s AoE spam duirng the weak and very weak phases of the fight still hurts with full mitigation (around 1.3k damage or so to all characters). I didn’t find it very hard to single target heal through and it shouldn’t be a problem as long as you can burst her down.

Sidenote: I am really really really bad at saving mithril. 😕

[Gardening] My Succulent Collection

I have noticed recently, that as I grow older (more specifically, as my free time shrinks), the less I am interested in gaming in front of a computer. I guess that isn’t really a bad thing, but it is probably the reason why I post here about once a week at most.

Now that the weather is getting warmer, gardening can ensue. We have been in the house for a little over a year and the backyard is still kind of a mess, aside from my small corner of potted plants. Truth be told, one of the reasons for my love of succulents is the fact that they require very little maintenance. The primary reason of course being that they look cool/weird. Here are a couple of plants from my succulent collection that I am particularly fond of:

Echeveria (Elegans?)

I am pretty sure that these succulents are in the echeveria genus, but I am not 100% sure what species. They are from my wedding bouquet and grow/flower like crazy with very little maintenance other than placing them in a spot that receives sun and splashing them with water once in a while during peak hit in summer.

I have noticed that one of the flower stalks is infested with little black bugs. The bugs likely seem to be isolated to just one stem and have not returned since pruning them off.

Lithops (Living Stones)

Before Winter (October) and after Winter (March). When I had purchased these plants at Lowe’s, I didn’t have high hopes for them surviving through the Winter because the looked a little bit scarred or possibly split from overwatering

The leaf on the top right was unfortunately munched on by a rabbit and died as expected. The leaf on the top left looked pretty bad, but has a new leaf emerging. I am very pleased to see a double spawn out of the big leaf on the bottom.

It rained a lot in 2015 (for Southern California which is to say, not much by everyone else’s standard) and I wasn’t very diligent about moving the water sensitive plants to a covered area, so we’ll see how they do. The soil does dry fairly rapidly when in full sun.

Fenestraria Aurantiaca (Baby Toes)

Have been looking for these on and off for a while and happened to find them the other week during a plant sale when we were out and about. I had a decent sized pot of these growing up, pretty sure that they died due to over-watering.

Stardew Valley

Oddly enough I have never even heard of Stardew Valley until about a week or so ago when it started popping up on the Youtube/Twitch streams that I watch occasionally. So being a big fan of the simulation game genre in general, I caved and purchased it. Stardew Valley is an indie open-ended country-life RPG, as it is described on their website. Given that farming and relationship simulating, among other things, are pretty big game components, it really does feel like a spiritual successor to the Harvest Moon series.

I managed to soak in a few hours playing on and off this week and so far I have fell into the steady rhythm of spending the morning hours tending to the crops, running any needed errands in town, a little time fishing, the remainder of my energy clearing out trees and rocks on my farm, and then the remaining time in the day socializing. Though this may sound tedious, it really doesn’t feel that way.

Resource usage as a whole seems to have been consolidated into time and energy (and inventory space). You have x amount of time in the day and y amount of energy to do stuff. Physically intensive actions such as chopping, planting, mining, etc cost a certain amount of energy. So it is a matter of prioritizing what needs to be done; All the while the game clock is running in the background.

Stardew Valley is a slow paced yet oddly satisfying game. Play it for hours or play it here and there one game day at a time. It is relaxing and satisfies my sim game/building game need.

[FFRK] Ultimate Bahamut SIN

This one was harder than I had expected, given the number of Soul Breaks and the amount of record synergy that I have for FFVII. I think above all, hastega would have been a great help. Bahamut’s overall damage output wasn’t nearly as bad as previous Ultimate fights, but burst damage is necessary to kill the Giga/Petraflare bars in time as well as nuke him down. I guess I was lucky and paced the fight just enough to spawn/kill 8 dogs without taking too many extra actions. I did lose a medal for actions taken but managed to just make the cutoff for champion.

 Character  Weapon  Ability 1  Ability 2  Record Materia
 Cloud  Organics (VII)  Lifesiphon  Firaga Strike  Ace Striker
 Zack  Zack’s Gloves (VII)  Lifesiphon  Bladeblitz  Knight’s Charge
 Sephiroth   Basilisk Claw (VII)  Fire Blossom  Pound  Attunement II
 Aerith  Storm Staff (IX)  Ifrit  Shellga  Mako Might
 Lenna  Aurora Rod (VII)  Curaga  Protectga  Dr. Mog’s Teachings

Roaming Warrior: Tyro (Sentinel’s Grimoire)
Notable Soul Breaks: Blade Beam, Air Strike, Planet Protector, Princess’ Favor

Try to delay using the first Sentinel’s Grimoire charge as long as possible. As long as you get Protectga and Shellga up ASAP, the dogs are easily survivable without a wall. I ended up popping SG after the first Gigaflare and then again when he was between 40% and 50% health. Also, Petraflare is survivable with Shella, Wall, and full-ish HP. I had the misfortune of eating a Petraflare towards the end of the fight. Luckily, wall was still up, everyone was topped off, and an AoE heal was on standby.

Bladeblitz, Fire Blossom, and Ifrit were obviously used to AoE down the dogs. Blade Beam and Planet Protector were paced and kept in reserve for Gigaflare and Petraflare (with the added bonus of AoEing down the dogs).

The real MVPs of this encounter of course being: Planet Protector boosted Blade Beam and Air Strike. Air Strike doesn’t do that much damage but it does have a 100% chance to stun all, which was great for stalling Bahamut for just long enough to kill (most of the) the gigaflare and petraflare bars (why is Zack’s weapon a glove of all things?). Blade Beam, as always, is great for burning down just about everything.

[FFRK] Ultimate Seymour Flux

Everyone tired of fighting Seymour yet? Not the hardest encounter and not the easiest encounter; Definitely one of the easier ones though. Ultimate dispel + Total Annihilation was really his only major trick and even that is mostly just a timing thing. That said, I do have decent Final Fantasy X real synergy. I went with the standard 3x physical + Medica + Boostga party that I use for most things. The only major difference between my usual party configuration being that I swapped out a 5* support character in favor of Lightning for the sake of having a second Soul Break damage spammer.

 Character  Weapon  Ability 1  Ability 2  Record Materia
 Cloud  Thief Blade (X)  Lifesiphon  Tempo Flurry  Ace Striker
 Pecil  Fencing Sabre (X)++  Armor Strike  Venom Buster  Bastion
 Lightning  Heat Lance (X)  Dismissal  Drain Strike  Knight’s Charge
 Aerith  Sage’s Staff (V)  Curaja  Protectga  Mako Might
 Lenna  Magistral Rod (X)  Curaga  Exhausting Polka  Dr. Mog’s Teachings

Roaming Warrior: Tyro (Sentinel’s Grimoire)
Notable Soul Breaks: Planet Protector, Blade Beam, Blaze Rush, Sentinel, Princess’ Favor

I have mentioned this before but I really like Armor Strike because it multiplies off of DEF and not ATK. I usually have enough attack gear to equip for two characters, but not three. Armor Strike also works very well with Bastion and Cecil’s Sentinel Soul Break

Ultimate Dispel  is cast at two fixed points Seymour’s health bar: About 75% and about 50%. Subsequent casts will occur after a certain number of turns if I recall correctly. One of the medal conditions is to default him before he casts it 3 times.  After the second Ultimate Dispel, Mortiorchis will cast Total Annihilation (massive AoE damage) periodically; The first cast being a few turns after Ultimate Dispel. The trick to the fight is to not eat an unmitigated Total Annihilation and to burn him down after the second Dispel.

Phase 1: Use Exhausting Polka and Protectga for mitigation. Slow damage to build up SB bars. Cloud uses Tempo Flurry on Mortiorchis to obtain the slow medal condition, Cecil uses Venom Buster on Seymour to obtain the poison/sap medal condition.

Phase 2: Cast Protectga, Sentinel’s Grimoire, and Medica (if needed) after the first Ultimate Dispel. Recast Exhausting Polka if needed though, since it is effectively an AoE Magic Breakdown, Lenna should be keeping the debuff up in between healing rotations (or at least making a point to cast it before 75%~ 50%~ HP). I also had Pecil cast Sentinel to soak all of his single target damage and to buff his Armor Strike Damage output.

Phase 3: Lenna and someone else will need to be held in reserve when he is getting close to 50% health to cast medica and Sentinel’s Grimoire’s respectively. If you do not get mitigation up in time, it will pretty much be a S/L. A raw Total Annihilation will instagib the squishy party members. After TA: Heal up as needed, pop Planet Protector, burn him down with Blade Beam and Blaze Rush.

The vast majority of his attacks are physical based so I dropped Shellga. Total Annihilation however (if I recall correctly) is NAT typed magical damage. Luckily, Sentinel’s Grimoire was sufficient mitigation, though just barely for certain characters.

Diablo III Season 5 and FFXIV

I am making a feeble attempt at posting more often.

I had an odd urge and almost MMO relapsed into resubscribing to Final Fantasy XIV a couple of days ago. But, I had remembered how much of a drag early combat was and how much of the main quest line was gated fairly early on in the game. It’s not necessarily that bad of a thing to force people to run instances early on in the game I guess, but it’s not really what I was looking for. I had every intent on enjoying the game solo and then grouping for middle-high levelish instances with the intent of eventually finding a suitable guild, etc. Well, that and newbie instances are such a drag.

Everyone says that Final Fantasy XIV’s story is really good but do they mean good as in on par with narrative games or good as in not shit/decent for an MMO? I am legitimately curious. If I had a regular group of people also leveling through FFXIV, I am sure that the game would be much more fun. But that said, I am not sure I am interested in playing an MMO at the moment anyway.

I did however, pick up Diablo III. My husband was so kind as to power level my season 5 crusader to level 70 paragon 100+ so that we can play together in some capacity. The downside of course of power leveling a class being that I have limited knowledge as to what exactly I am supposed to be doing with my crusader.

Diablo III isn’t exactly that complicated game so at this point, I am sure it is a matter of sorting through the mounds of phat lootz and set items, picking out the best ones/gemming/re-rolling stats, and then basing a build off of that. I can at least, not be insta-gibbed while being carried through some of the harder rifts though jumping into Torment X was a bit…much lol. TL;DR: Pew pew pew with friends = much fun.

[FFRK] Ultimate Maduin

The Internet was right, Maduin wasn’t a very hard ultimate fight. After dealing with back-to-back Beatrix and Vossler, it’s nice having an easy one for once. His damage output is a joke until the end of the fight as long as you have some mitigation up. Magic Seal is mildly irritating, but it with decent enough damage output, it doesn’t last long enough to be that much of a threat. Here is the team that I went with:

 Character  Weapon  Ability 1  Ability 2  Record Materia
 Cloud  Kotetsu (VI)  Lifesiphon  Thundaga Strike  Ace Striker
 Celes  Rune Blade (VI)  Fire Strike  Blizarra Strike  Pride of the Red Wings
 Edgar  Blazefire Saber (XIII)+  Armor Strike  Banishing Strike  Bastion
 Setzer  Zantetsuken (VI)  Magic Breakdown  Power Breakdown  Zeal
 Aerith  Sage’s Staff (V)  Curaja  Shellga  Dr. Mog’s Teachings

Roaming Warrior: Tyro (Sentinal’s Grimoire)
Notable Soul Breaks: Planet Protector, Blade Beam

I don’t have much to say about this encounter as there was not a whole lot of finesse required: I just applied mitigation at the beginning of the fight and then again after mass dispel. He casts Mass Dispel after Chaos Wave. As long as you time it and get your mitigation up ASAP, it’s no big deal. Aside from that, powered him down with PP and Blade Beam towards the end of the fight per usual. It’s worth noting that I do have decent weapon synergy for Final Fantasy VI.

Small tangent: Armor Strike is an ability that I find myself using more and more. It is perfect for situations where there isn’t a synergy weapon to around for each character. It doesn’t have a secondary benefit such as Lifesiphon or dismissal per se, but having DEF based damage means that Armor Strike provides super beefy damage characters that aren’t going to compete with other characters for ATK gear. That and it’s really great for Pecil with Sentinal. I really like Pecil so any excuse to use him is a bonus

Odds and Ends: February 2016

I have been on a mild Final Fantasy binge lately that may or may not have been at least partially inspired by my fixation with Final Fantasy Record Keeper.

Final Fantasy Tactics
This title went on sale on the App Store a long-ass time ago and has been shamefully sitting on my phone untouched for well over a year, if not more. Given that Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced is one of my all time favorite handheld titles, I am unsure why it has taken me this long to finally play this game. I actually own the PSX game; I think it was gifted to me like 15 years ago and chance.

The great thing about turn based mission based games is that they are very easy to pick up and set down as time dictates. As such, FFT is now my preferred lunch time and couch time game. Decent plot, fun game, decent port, despite the fact that it hasn’t been updated in about two years. I haven’t played Final Fantasy Tactics A2 either. I may treat myself after beating this game

Final Fantasy Explorers
Final Fantasy classes and abilities + Monster Hunter + Basic MMO grinding = this game. It’s a grindy handheld action RPG with a plot that is vague at best. I like it, but it may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Dwarf Fortress
I have played through several fortresses at this point. In regards to Outpost Stizashoddom from my previous posts: Ultimately, Kol the Possessed One ended up going insane because I was unable to construct a metal forge to fulfill his needs. He was promptly smothered to death by his peers, thus ending both his murderous rage as well as his short life. The fortress was forced retired after accidentally digging a staircase wrong and trapping/starving the only dwarves in the fortress with a pining pick. It unfortunately, created a situation in which I was literally unable to do much of anything.

My second fortress survived a while longer, including long bloody winter in which a third of the population was killed during goblin siege. They held out but never fully recovered and perished the following year during a second siege. Ultimately, my downfall (one of them) was not having a self sustaining source of water during the winter. Future fortress incarnations were built on a map with a river or some constant source of water. Still need to work on building a pump/reservoir system.

[FFRK] Ultimate Vossler

Knowing that Vossler was a tough fight, I wanted to start on him as soon as possible instead of waiting until the last ass minute as I did with Beatrix. I also figured that this post might be more useful not being posted on the last day of the event. Vossler wasn’t as difficult as I thought he was going to be. Once I had the right party configuration, it was a one shot. In summary: Super tank Pencil + Heroic Harmony + Unyielding Fist = trivial fight.

I usually don’t like using the cheese tactics but after Beatrix, I feel as if I deserve a small break. Having Heroic Harmony, Protectga, Steal Power, and Sentinel’s DEF buff however, increased Pecil’s mitigation and decreased Vossler’s attack so much that I am confident I could have mastered the fight without the need of Galuf’s RW cheese. So will I go back and do the fight sans Galuf? Well, we will have to see about that. This was the team that I used:

 Character  Weapon  Ability 1  Ability 2  Record Materia
 Cloud  Blazefire Saber (FF13)  Lifesiphon  Bladeblitz  Dragoon’s Determination
 Balthier  Ras Algethi (FF12)  Steal Power  Tempo Flurry  Master Sniper
 Pecil  Aegis Killer (FF12)  Draw Fire  Dispel  Bastion
 Ashe  Must Stick (FF12)  Ruinga  Meteor  Witch of Succession
 Mog  Save Staff (FF5)  Renewing Cure  Protectga  Mako Might

Roaming Warrior:  Galuf (Unyielding Fist)
Notable Soul Breaks: Heroic Harmony, Blade Beam, Sentinel
Other Soul Breaks: Soothing Aroma, Tides of Fate

Since an AoE heal + regen wasn’t necessary for once and even detrimental to the fight, Lenna and her lovely SB were not needed. I tried a couple of rounds with Aerith instead of Mog for Planet Protector and Fran instead of Cloud, because I wanted to know if RS + Full Break + Defense Breakdown made up for the DPS loss. It did not, particularly towards the end of the fight where SSB spam was necessary as it usually is to finish off the boss. Keep in mind that you do have to use Dispel in order to meet the medal requirement. Banishing Strike does not count :/

Vossler’s encounter isn’t very RNG heavy like most of the other Utimate Fights. There is a bit of timing involved with getting mitigation setup properly before he starts instagibbing people with triple/quad strike, but it’s not nearly as hairy as Beatrix’s Climhazzard. Vossler is however, very much an HP management fight. The trick to CT0 is that he will cast it on the character that has the highest HP percentage (unsure if it’s only the first attack that is like this or all of them). It is not avoidable with retaliate nor is it tauntable. It’s very tempting to heal everyone up to full towards the end of the fight, but you will want to keep enough of an HP gap between your tank and the rest of the party to allow for some leeway. Curaja is likely going to heal the non-Cecil party members too much so you may want to use Curaga or Renewing Cure instead.

Other than CT0, Vossler was a fairly vanilla fight in almost every aspect, to the point where I was wondering if this encounter even was the ultimate fight, until the point at which he started triple and quadruple striking people to death that is. Also, the target scores are kind of annoying…ability tetris. I took a gamble and used Tempo Flurry to fulfill the slow criteria instead of using something more reliable like Slowga. Luckily it proc’d on the first hit. I have had other runs in the past where it just slow just wouldn’t proc at all. My fight more or less went as follows:

Until the adds are down:
Cloud: Bladeblitz the adds down
Balthier: Steal Power on Voss then Tempo Flurry the adds to apply slow
Pecil: Draw Fire then auto attack or Dispel to build SB bar
Ashe: Ruinga until Slow hits then Meteor to burn them down
Mog: Protectga, Heroic Harmony, then Renewing Cure spam

First turn after the adds are down:
Cloud: Lifesiphon spam to build SB bar
Balthier: Refresh Steal Power as needed, otherwise Tempo Flurry pew pew
Pecil:  Sentinal, Dispel as needed
Ashe: Meteor/Ruinga spam
Mog: Renewing Cure

Phase 3 (somewhere between 40% and 50%)
Cloud: Blade Beam Spam
Balthier: Continue refreshing Steal Power as needed. Spam Tides of Fate
Pecil: Unyielding Fist, Dispel haste ASAP
Ashe: Continue Meteor/Ruinga spamming. Pop Soothing Aroma if everyone gets low but watch Pecil’s HP. He MUST remain #1 in HP%.
Mog: Refresh Protectga, keep Pecil topped off, Heroic Harmony

[FFRK] Ultimate Beatrix

God. What a pain in the ass. I have a fairly okay set of gear and set of Soul Breaks (minus 2/3 of the holy trinity. No natural hastega or wall) and this one was barely doable. I am not even sure if this one is doable without at least a natural medica and possibly AoE regen without a thousand S/Ls. Beatrix is guaranteed to cast at least two Climhazzards at scripted points during the fight. The trick is to watch her health bar. When the bar touches her toes she will cast it. Climhazzard is NAT damage that cannot be avoided or mitigated.

She is also guaranteed to cast Stock Break several turns after Climhazzard which will do AoE physical damage as well as sap all characters. Sap needs to be removed ASAP before the second Climhazzard goes off otherwise instadeath will occur at the first damage tick. Stock Break is straight up physical damage so normal avoidance tactics apply (retaliate, etc). After numerous party configurations this is the team that I went with:

Character Ability 1 Ability 2 Record Materia
 Cloud  Lifesiphon  Drain Strike  Ace Striker
 Steiner  Armor Strike  Banishing Strike  Bastion
 Yuffie  Steal Power  Shadowsteel  Heroic Stance
 Aerith  Renewing Cure  Haste  Dr. Mog’s Teachings
 Lenna  Renewing Cure  Protectga  Mako Might

Roaming Warrior: Hymn of the Faith
Notable Soul Breaks: Blade Beam, Princess’s Favor, Planet Protector, Dragon Force
Notable Weapons: Ultima Sword

  • Dragon Force: This actually ended up being a crucial spell because it completely negated Stock Break, saving me the hassle of burning a RW or SB charge to heal/regen sap off of everyone before Climhazzard #2. In all honesty, I had forgotten that I even had this SB. If I had remembered and realized that it cancelled out Stock Break, much time would have been saved…
  • Planet Protector: Used it before Climhazzard #2 (if I recall correctly, the turn after popping Dragon Force). Allowed for massive Blade Beam spammage at maximum damage to burn her down.
  • Shadowsteel: Spam this in the beginning to get her sapped as soon as possible; It does around 4k a tick. Though 4k may not seem to be a lot of damage, overtime it adds up.
  • Banishing Strike: Fulfills the holy damage medal requirement and also dispels. Beatrix doesn’t cast Holy that often but when she does, she tends to bounce it off of her self. Keep in mind that Dispel only removes positive effects so it won’t remove Sap, etc.
  • Haste: I had Aerith haste everyone before the first Climhazzard. I managed to squeeze in a refresh on Cloud during the last half of the fight.
  • Steal Power/Protectga: Most of her attacks are physical damage. The ones that aren’t are either NAT or holy. So in other words, don’t bother bringing Shellga or Magic Breakdown. Protectga was cast once towards the beginning of the fight and then again at the half way point.
  • Armor Strike: New ability, also a medal requirement. Really liking this ability so far; It’s damage multiplier is based off of DEF instead of ATK. I stacked Steiner with as much DEF gear as possible and kept his HP topped off so that he could soak Shock. Decent damage with enough DEF.

Overall, the trick was to remove the RNG deaths from Holy and Shock during the later half of the fight. Holy isn’t used very often but can dealt with by keeping reflect dispelled (luckily it’s not refreshed often, assuming it’s scripted in at a certain turn). Shock is cast on the character with the highest HP. As long as Steiner was topped off, it wasn’t a big deal. Tried the Retaliate cheese strategy but it was too RNG dependent (unlucky Holy and Shock hits…) and irritating to time.