Wednesday, September 17, 2008

FFXI Boss: Eighteen Hours to One Minute

If you've ever played Final Fantasy XI you are aware of its relentless difficulty and how unforgiving the game is when you happen to die (you lose exp). Sometimes the game is just unfair. That was the main draw of the game however; there's no doubt that it is hardcore.

Sometimes though, the bosses in the game are a little too ridiculous. Kotaku reported of a group of players that tried to take down one of the hardest bosses of the game, Pandemonium Warden, and failed after 18 hours. Yes, that's right, they played for 18 hours and could not beat him. Worried about their health, the group called it quits.

Square Enix got a TON of bad press for this, so they nerfed all of their bosses, imposing a time limit of two hours to beat them and lowering the bosses' stats. After this change, the same guild took on another epic hard boss named Absolute Virtue that also has taken player's into marathon gaming. The result? Well, see for yourself.

Yeah, it now only takes one minute to beat with the right equipment and classes. I have to give credit to this guild though, BeyondTheLimitation (ironic name for this story), because they put in a lot of prep for this battle. Almost everyone in their group are max level Dark Knights with Kraken Clubs. Dark Knights have an ability that takes 10% of their HP and converts it into damage for 45 seconds. Then, they stacked that ability with their special 2-hour cooldown ability that drains and absorbs HP per hit for 30 seconds. So you have a system where on every hit, you're taking HP away from yourself and turning into damage and then absorbing it back from the enemy.

On top of that, the Kraken Club is a super rare weapon that can hit up to 8 times in a single round. Then, you have every Dark Knight with two hastes on them, which increases their attack speed. It was a well-thought out rush.

These guys got lucky though. Had the battle gone on any further, all of their special abilities would have run dry and then they would have to rely more on mages, which would be difficult since most of them were Dark Knights. Still, they had an excellent strategy, and it thankfully worked. Bravo.

I think it's great that Square Enix imposed a time limit, but two hours is too little and the bosses have been nerf a little too much. FFXI prides itself on being hardcore. Players with the best equipment in the game should be able to take down epic hard bosses efficiently but, one minute? That's a little too easy. I'm not sure how long the time limit should be, maybe 5 hours? Even that's ridiculous in video game standards, but MMORPG end-game bosses should be for the people who have no lives. Sometimes, it's not that bad to appeal to the insane.


Anonymous said...

That's quite a change; do you know anything about how prepared the group was who took 18 hours, as compared to this group?

Richard R. said...

The group that played for 18 hours and failed and the group shown in this post that beat Absolute Virtue are the same group: BeyondTheLimitation.

I don't know how the failed 18 hours strategy went but I did some research and found out how Absolute Virtue was beaten before the nerf. He was beaten in 2006.

The trick to beating Aboslute Virtue was actually a glitch and they beat him in approximately 2 hours. A group of black mages somehow drew the enemy from behind a wall and just pumped spells into him over and over again while the boss couldn't get around the wall and fight back.

This glitch was eventually fixed and then more strategies came out. The one I found here is very in-depth; hit the jump you're curious about the insane planning of this boss took prior to the nerf.

The short version of the above strategy is that they would pull the boss through different stations pounding arrows (with magical effects for debuffing) into it and then come to a point where the black mages can cast spells from a bridge. The Paladins would then always try to keep hate on them while the white mages heal the Paladins.

Quite intense.

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