For some time now after coming back to the game, we have been in a process of getting enough level 50 characters up to be able to tackle the official 8 man raid in the game. Now there is a 24 man raid, but to some extent I equate that to the LFR system in World of Warcraft. Both Labyrinth of the Ancients and Syrcus Tower are tuned in such a way as to allow complete strangers to be able to complete them. They are however an excellent source of gear, and all of us have been doing them pretty much on a weekly basis on a shot of getting some ilevel 100 gear. The Binding Coil of Bahamut however is serious mode raiding, or at least it was when the game was released. It takes eight players through a series of separate “turns” as they call them… or floors as I think of them as we traverse one big raid.
Last night we took a friend of the guild in with us to get to our eight players, and she and another guildie had a sizeable amount of experience in the dungeon. For the most part we were trying to figure out the fight on the fly, however after a few wipes Spiral started giving us tips. Thanks in part to these tips we made adjustments and progressed pretty quickly through Turn One. Since we had not been there terribly long we opted to continue on to turn two. The First half of Binding Coil of Bahamut consists of five turns in total, with an extremely large boss encounter waiting at the end of it. In order to progress to the next turn, your group has to have defeated the previous one. I can see this becoming a bit of a pain later on as we bring new folks in that have not been keyed for the one we are actually working on.
Angry Red Ball
When we reached the second turn, I feel like the bottom dropped out from under us. The first turn once we adjusted a bit was rather manageable. So I had this fear that we would simply blow out the entire first half of the raid due to the fact that we way over geared the level that the encounters were designed for. This was pushed aside however as we started the second ADS encounter. ADS is a angry red ball defense system that you encounter as the first boss in turn one, however this time around it brings friends. The entire encounter is somewhat of a gauntlet in that you are trying to get to the boss before it enrages, which the process starts the moment you encounter the first mini-boss. You proceed down towards ADS by taking a series of optional bosses out, Each time you take a specific boss out, it removes a negative effect from the final encounter, but at the same time adds some form of a buff.
On our first turn we tried to take as many mini-bosses out as we could, and I think we only actually left one alive. The end result was absolutely brutal as we fought a severely buffed and hasted final boss. After that we more ploddingly identified which orbs removed which buff and gave which buff to figure out the path we could afford to take. Spiral had told us that every group she had been with went left, but we wanted to know WHY they went left. As a result we ended up going right, and for a period of time this seemed like the correct answer. The mini-boss before ADS removed this frustrating mechanic known as Rot that causes a debuff to be passed around the raid like a baton. If the debuff is NOT passed, everyone in the raid takes a significant amount of damage. We thought this would make the ADS encounter more manageable, however after a few tries we noticed that it was giving ADS an insane haste buff, causing it to absolutely wreck us.
The Left Path
So at this point we figured out why exactly every group went left, and by trial and error decided that this would be the best course of action. It is at this point that I should explain that we knew a supposed easy way to defeat the boss from the moment we walked in. The thing is while we can totally cheese out the Binding Coil of Bahamut, we will not in any fashion be able to cheese the Second Coil of Bahamut that features turns 6 through 10. I figure that if we learn these fights now, we will have an easier time learning the fights in Second Coil, because we will have some insight into the way that the designers of the raid content think. So throughout all of these tries we had a guaranteed win condition in our pocket, but we chose not to use it for as long as was feasible as to learn the fight for real.
Admittedly our biggest issue with this content was the fact that we lacked a Bard. I can already tell that group composition is going to be a pretty critical thing for certain fights. Normally we would have had Warenwolf on his Bard, but he was not available tonight. We could have shifted players around to get a bard, however we were not really prepared for that and didn’t see that zoning back out and back in was really worth it. As a result we struggled through and came within a sliver of defeating the boss a few times before taking not of just how late it was getting. Finally when we were just about to call it, we opted to take the easy route. Apparently ADS is one of the few bosses that is actually significantly easier to defeat after it enrages. Instead of having to deal with mechanics like Rot, you have to deal with constant AOE pulse damage through the raid. It literally becomes a burn phase and an endurance match for the healers to keep the raid up long enough to dps the encounter down.
Post Apocalyptic Halo
After we had finished the second turn we all dispersed, and I filtered off into playing some Destiny. I really did not want to get too terribly involved in anything, so I opted to just poke around in the level two mission that I had already defeated. One of the cool things about the way the world is laid out, is that you can just wander around off the main course allowing you to explore new areas that are not necessarily involved with the current task at hand. I had not unlocked the completely open world version of the zone yet, so this was the next best thing. Funny thing is a little bit into me poking around I had someone from my friends list join my fire team. I have to say I am not quite used to this concept yet of someone just randomly dropping down into your game. I sent him a message warning him that I was kind of just poking around aimlessly and went on about my business.
Interesting thing of note is that apparently if your friend zones into one of the “darkness” areas that are instanced… it also pulls you into the area as well. So one moment I am wandering about killing level 7 mobs that I had stumbled onto, and then the next I am being sucked into the battle with the Archon at the end of the level 2 mission. This was all fine and good as it is a pretty fun encounter, and since there were two of us the game scaled up the difficulty a bit. The problem is… moments into the encounter my partner in crime disconnected from the mission leaving me there to deal with all of the mobs alone. It turns out he was trying to upload a video clip and it disconnected him, which for future reference might not be the best thing to do in the middle of a fire fight. I managed to finish off the encounter solo and got a nice helm as a reward for doing so. On that note I shut things down for the night and tried to figure out why exactly my Vanguard Armory was not showing up. Thanks to Ashgar I went in and did some “renew licenses” function within the PS4 settings, and that seemed to clear it up immediately.
#FFXIV #BindingCoil #Destiny