Wednesday, May 11, 2011

FFXI: Skill Chain Details

As you add more people to your party you start wanting to fight harder and harder monsters. In order to actually kill the harder monsters in a timely manner you really want to be taking advantage of the damage multipliers that exist in skill chains and in magic bursts. Unfortunately skill chains are a little complicated and very arbitrary which makes it pretty hard to work out on the fly, especially since the chat log seems to get very cluttered with many people fighting at the same time. Possibly with a lot of experience with all the weapons and chains possible you'd eventually be able to work it out but certainly for me I need a tool to assist. But first, an overview of a skill chain.

The basic idea is every weapon skill has a particular elemental attribute associated with it. The hand-to-hand skill, Combo, for example has the elemental attribute Impaction. For a few seconds after Combo has been used the mob will have that attribute. Now, if a second weapon skill is used during those few seconds one of two things will happen:

- If the attribute of the second weapon skill is either liquifaction or detonation then a skill chain will happen. The mob will take an extra 50% damage from the second weapon skill. The mob will become vulnerable to a magic burst of the associated element (fire for liquifaction or wind for detonation). And the mob will have the new attribute for the next few seconds completely replacing the old one. The chain can continue based on the new attribute.
- If the attribute of the second weapon skill is anything else then no bonus happens. The old attribute will again be completely replaced by the new one and a chain can happen from the new attribute alone. This means randomly using a weapon skill in the middle of other people's chain can hurt.

Here is an interesting site with a weapon skill calculator on it. You enter in the levels and weapons used by your party and it spits out what skill chains you may be able to do. I didn't think to look into this yesterday before we ran some mazes but it may have helped out. We ran into one mob type (ooze) which took drastically reduced normal damage. Having the potential to skill chain or magic burst them may have sped things up. (Instead I just spammed banish and rested a lot which worked out ok.) Putting our group in for yesterday (level 15s WAR/MNK with a scythe, THF/DNC with a sword, WHM/BLM with a club) shows a bunch of different skill chains. Some of which actually would have multiplied the banish damage by 30% which could have been a big deal.

Slice -> Burning Blade
Seraph Strike -> Burning Blade
Burning Blade -> Slice
Fast Blade -> Dark Harvest
Dark Harvest -> Seraph Strike
Burning Blade -> Seraph Strike
Slice -> Burning Blade -> Seraph Strike

Each of us had two weapon skills and some of them work in some orders but not others. Rarely do we use weapon skills at the same time due to differences in TP gain and other priorities. On some runs I didn't even attack at all. I just healed and rested. But I think it could have helped to look this up in advance especially once we ran into the oozes. I did melee a fair bit on those guys and if we could have timed a slice into burning blade into seraph strike into banish it could have been pretty sweet. We'll get you next time, Gadget! Next time!

BMI: 21.98 (-0.02)
Wii Fit Age: 31 (0)

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