Friday, May 06, 2011

FFXI: Back Tanking

I just saw some people talking about using a technique they call "back tanking" to fight some of the harder monsters in FFXI. This works on huge mobs that have frontal AE cones like many WoW bosses have. Onyxia and Nefarian are perhaps the most iconic such examples. The boss points at the tank so you position your tank away from the rest of your raid. That way only the tank gets hit by the huge breath weapon. Simple, right?

In FFXI huge mobs actually don't turn to face the person they're attacking. (And since there's no target of target function this makes it hard for the healer to know who's got aggro as I found out when we used Tom's dragon rune in an MMM maze.) So the tank runs behind the boss but stays in melee range so the boss doesn't move and therefore change the way it faces. Now no one is in front of the boss to get hit by the breath! It turns out the boss just won't use their breath attacks in this set-up and will use other attacks instead, which can be abused since some raid-wide AE attacks only get cast when the tank is in front as well.

This just seems weird and wrong to me. But is it abusing a bug or a creative use of game mechanics? Did Square intent to have dragons fought with the whole raid cowering behind the boss? It seems simple enough to fix (let dragons turn like smaller mobs do) so I'd assume it was kosher but it still feels like cheating.

BMI: 22.09 (-.16)
Wii Fit Age: 26 (-7)

1 comment:

Sthenno said...

This sounds like a bug that became a feature when it was used by too many people for too long without being fixed.