Bahamut Is Down

Some Personal Stuff

I feel like it has been pretty noticeable that I have been in a bit of a funk for the last few weeks.  When this happens I tend to extract myself from the world until the passes, which isn’t necessarily the smartest thing that I can do.  However over the years I have done this as my coping mechanism, because I am always afraid I will snap at someone when I get moody.  For a bit yesterday I was wondering if my magical happy pills were not longer working, but then my wife asked me something.  Was my low as low as it has been in the past…  and to be honest no.  Normally the world would be crushingly oppressive, and instead I just felt sort of permanently bummed out.  So I guess maybe things are working just fine, they are just filling in the valleys so that the lows are quite as low as they would have been otherwise.

Yesterday was one of the more stressful days that I have had in awhile.  We had someone patch a server and due to a conflict between the Windows Update Service and MacAfee that we have seen numerous times now… it caused a process deadlock that ended up taking down production services for hours.  This was stressful in so many ways, because while there was nothing I did to cause it… there was also nothing I could really do to help it either.  It was another department with another manager… and another set of priorities responsible for the fault and the fix.  So when I came home…  I was at an extremely low point.  However my wife and I went out to dinner, and then as the evening went on I started to feel better about the world.  It was like peeking out of a fog to see a lovely day behind it.  I guess in the grand scheme of things… if all of my low spots are like this from now on…  I will count myself lucky because while it sucked, it was manageable.

Bahamut Is Down

ffxiv_dx11 2015-08-03 20-49-56-40 One of the struggles in game is that I feel like I am caught between two worlds a bit.  It has taken longer than I expected to get the Monday night raid group pieced together and ready to do Heavensward content.  As a result we have been focusing on trying to get through the Final Coil of Bahamut, and made some significant progress.  Last week we were just shy of forming a group, so going into Turn 13 last night… we were all rusty.  However it feels like we got our bearings more quickly than normal and made a few adjustments.  Previously I had been tanking Bahamut at the twelve o’clock position which seems the most obvious place to drag him as you are running in… and do the traditional drag the boss while running thing.  Instead we swapped things up and I drug up back to the six o’clock position we entered the room at.  This allowed Ashgar to pick up the adds significantly easier and also allowed the DPS to burn them down faster.

ffxiv_dx11 2015-08-03 20-51-40-81 The real challenge however was like always… we suck at dive bomb phases.  However in spite of the fact that you ultimately have to deal with something like five divebomb phases, they seemed to come together more smoothly than we were used to.  Essentially you have to find Bahamut, and move out of the way while also moving out of the way of Twintania that comes barreling through immediately after him.  I think we only made it through two or three of these phases completely clean, however we did manage to rez the few players that got pushed into a wall.  I am constantly impressed at still how difficult of a fight this is.  Sure this is expansion old content at this point, but I am damned happy to be able to say I have defeated Bahamut, and I have a title and a minion to show for it.  Paragon to a really spiffy White Mage Cane as a result, and part of me wants to try and muster the troops to do this more often so that we can farm the really awesome weapons for folks.  I have to say…  the most stressed I have ever been in Final Fantasy XIV is trying to find a way to survive Ahk Mourn.  On the positive side…  Alexander turn 3 has caused me to get really good at timing Holmgang.

Alex Finally

ffxiv_dx11 2015-08-03 21-44-31-73 Last night was a significant night because not only did it see us beating Turn 13 of Final Coil of Bahamut… but it also saw us officially starting this expansions raid content as a group.  I love the Wednesday night group, and I am enjoying what is happening there… but there is something extra special about getting the Monday night group into Alexander.  While Kodra, Grace and I are parts of both teams, there will always be something special about my first Final Fantasy XIV raid group.  So it makes me happy that this week everyone was up to 170 and several were considerably beyond that…  even though it took a little bit of cheatery to get Ash’s paladin in the zone by wearing some strength jewelry.  We only really had time to do turn one of Alexander, but we came really damned close to oneshotting it.  Had we not started freaking out because we thought we were coming up against the hard enrage… we absolutely would have downed it in the first try.

ffxiv_dx11 2015-08-03 21-08-41-56 On the second attempt everyone felt more confident and we pushed the dps so much harder than before.  The awesome thing about coming in on a Monday is that several of us were already capped on Alexander pieces for the week which meant pretty much all of the newish folks walked away with something spiffy.  I look forward to coming in next Monday and clearing all four turns of Alexander, and getting everyone their freebie accessories.  From there maybe some Bismarck and Ravana?  It makes me happy to feel like I am making forward momentum with both teams.  The only thing that frustrates me a little bit is that I feel like we should go back and do Turn 8, which is the turn that Monday night skipped to start work on Turn 9.  So maybe next week I can talk people into doing that so that we finally can close the book on the Coil of Bahamut.  I don’t want to sacrifice getting people through Alexander for it, but I would love to be able to say I have beaten each of the turns.  All in all it was a pretty great night, not just for the raid victories but for also clearing away the fog that I have been dwelling in.

Angry Red Ball

Starting Coil

ffxiv 2014-09-09 20-18-41-319 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

ffxiv 2014-09-09 22-21-29-337 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

ffxiv 2014-09-09 22-12-47-391 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

Destiny_20140909230130 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.

Destiny_20140909191442 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