The Gamer Corner
Built for the users, whether they like it or not.
Lost your password?

Useful Observations/Tips

Useful Observations/Tips – January 10, 2011 6:16 PM (edited 1/10/11 1:16 PM)
Talraen (2373 posts) Doesn't Play with Others
Rating: Not Rated
Sure, right now the only other person playing this game doesn't visit this site, but whatever. I want a place to collect the miscellaneous helpful stuff I've learned, and this is it.

Chat Log Tips
The game now allows two independent chat windows, though for whatever reason you seem to be limited to exactly two tabs per window. It really ought to be more flexible, but four logs is probably enough for most purposes.

Social Tab
This game generates a lot of text, especially in combat, so I highly recommend having a "Social" tab, possibly in the second window, that only allows tells, party chat, and linkshell chat. You can even show only some linkshells, which is nice. It takes a while before text scrolls off, though it seems to scroll off a "master" window so a lot of combat will eventually erase your social text. Note that NPC text also appears here, and AFAIK there's no way around that (but it's no big deal).

Special Combat Actions
Several classes have triggered abilities, such as the Pugilist's Haymaker, which can only be used after an evasion. Tracking evasions in the middle of combat can be difficult, so it could be worth dedicating a log entirely to this. (The filter for evasions is "Failed hostile actions against you")

Macro Tips
As in FFXI, there's a lot of cool stuff you can do with macros. There are even a few things that, as far as I can tell, can only be done with macros. Unlike FFXI, macros are more useful outside of combat, so I tend to put all my combat macros on the first line of each page (and I only have two of those, usually).

Marks
Marks in combat can be useful when trying to coordinate attacks against big groups. Really you probably only need one. The macro for this is "/enemysign 1 <t>", which will mark the currently highlighted mob. Changing the number changes the mark. I haven't played with ally marks, but I imagine you could easily macro those as well.

Guard
Keeping your shield up is annoying and can interrupt your flow. A macro helps a lot - the text is "/ac Guard <me>" and the really sweet thing is you can apparently hit guard even right in the middle of taking another action. If you want to get the normal Guard button out of the way, try "/eaction 30 Guard" or something similar. (You can't actually erase it, but you can put it somewhere it won't get in the way.)

Moving Your Basic Attack
If for whatever reason you don't want your basic attack as the first button on your combat bar, there is a way to move it - use a macro. "/eaction # [action name]" will do it. The name needs to be in quotes if it's more than one word.

Assigning Actions
This should be relatively obvious, but assigning actions with macros makes class switching, or even role switching (from solo to party, etc.), way easier. The macro you need is /eaction, which takes a # as the first argument (this is the slot, with 1-10 being page 1, 11-20 being page 3, and 21-30 being page 3) and the name of an action as the second argument. There are two major issues with /eaction: first, you only get 10 slots per macro, so especially at higher levels you'll probably need multiple macros. I suggest one per page, for simplicity. The second issue is that order is important: if you are at max action points, and try to replace a 3-point action with a 2-point action, it won't work, even if you do the opposite later. I recommend testing your macros as a result, or praying they change the way actions work when you switch classes.

Speaking of which, when you switch classes, actions you can't use remain on your bar but don't cost anything, while actions you can use are assigned (and removed, if you have less points to assign them with). Knowing this, it's useful to keep your gathering actions on a different page (say, 3) than your combat actions, because neither will remove the other. At really high levels, this may not be possible, but whatever. When switching disciples of war or magic, you're going to have to reassign a bunch of actions. Note that /eaction # (with no action name) will clear that action slot, which can help deal with the aforementioned "too many points" problem.

Assigning Abilities and Traits
Abilities and traits work similarly to actions, even using /eaction for assignment (though they only have 10 slots each). The game will interpret what you're assigning based on the action/ability/trait name. However, this means there is no way (that I'm aware of) to unassign abilities or traits, only to replace them. This can be a big issue if, like me, you only have magic->physical conversion abilities which you'd like to remove while spending time as a mage. If you have any other trait, such as Fastcast, you can share slots or even assign it then move it to clear 2 slots (e.g., "/eaction 2 Fastcast" followed by "/eaction 1 Fastcast").

This is less of a problem for abilities, provided you always use the same slots, since you always want to assign as many as possible. I'd recommend dividing your crafting abilities from your gathering abilities, since like actions, they don't cost anything if you can't use them. I use slots 1-5 for crafting and 6-10 for gathering, personally.

Gear Macros
In addition to actions, it's useful to switch gear with macros. This is done using the /equip command. However, last time I looked the in-game and online help for /equip gave the wrong slot names (which is, let's face it, ridiculous). These are the slot names I know work (and the quotes are necessary where I used them):

main, sub, body, legs, head, feet, hands, waist, neck, "Left Ear", "Right Ear", "Left Index Finger", "Right Index Finger", "Left Ring Finger", "Right Ring Finger", "Left Wrist", "Right Wrist"

Note that you can use /equip to remove gear by not specifying anything to equip. This doesn't work for the "main" slot, obviously. I like having a "remove all accessories" macro for crafting, since there are no accessories useful for crafting until rank 30+, and leaving them on will just result in them being damaged.

Managing Class Switching Macros
Between actions and gear and the 10-line macro limit, it can take a lot of macros for any given class, and that number multiplies if you want multiple setups per class. With only 100 macro slots, it pays to double up as much as possible. I suspect they'll revise this system in the coming months, but until then, there are a few things you can do. I tend to have one "accessories" macro for each class type (war, magic, hand, land), since they tend to share accessories. Individual exceptions can be put in class-specific macros. You can do the same with armor, but it's harder to make work, especially at disparate levels.

Handling multiple roles for a single class also takes some planning. For instance, I have a "thaumaturge gear" macro that I always use (and a separate one for accessories), but two macros each for solo and party action setups. Since I use the same gear, I save some space by only listing it once. For crafting, things are a bit less cut-and-dried. I have one "common weaver gear" macro, then four individual macros depending on what I'm crafting: craftsmanship vs. magic craftsmanship, and success rate vs. quality (covering all four combinations of both).

Miscelleaneous
There are a few other things I've found to be useful.

Invite a Friend
If you go to your friend list and click a friend's name, you can invite them to a party from anywhere. This is certainly easier than finding them in game to do it.

Die With Impunity
If you like to explore, or just really need to get to a level 50 camp to turn in your level 1 craft leve (why??!?!), you're probably going to die a lot. The nice thing is, weapons and tools aren't damaged by being hit, and undergarments don't have wear anymore, so if you run around naked (effectively) there's no penalty for death other than inconvenience. I do recommend hitting every aetherial node or gate along your route, though.

--
There is no Mythril Sword in Elfheim
Skill/Experience Point Rewards – January 10, 2011 7:14 PM (edited 1/10/11 2:14 PM)
Talraen (2373 posts) Doesn't Play with Others
Rating: Not Rated
Since they changed how skill points are rewarded, the system is a lot easier to figure out. Here are a few important things I've learned concerning skill points. (I assume they apply equally to experience, but I haven't checked.)

Pre-Existing Damage Penalty
Experience only seems to count from the time a mob's name turns red. If you attack a mob that's already half dead, you get half SP. (I suspect this is a 1:1 ratio of HP% to SP.) This isn't usually an issue with actual half-dead mobs, but it does mean that if you hit a yellow mob while another mob is already red, you're not getting SP for those HP. As a result, you need to take some care fighting mixed groups. Try not to use AOEs that will hit any non-red mob, even if those other mobs are leve targets. Even a red mob that turns yellow and back red gets reset (especially annoying for targets that flee).

Weakness Penalty
If you're weakened when you kill a monster, you get half the usual SP. Not only that, but the damage you dealt previously doesn't count (see above). So basically, don't kill anything while you're weakened unless you've got one almost-dead leve mob left and you just want the leve over.

Guardian's Favor
Guardian's Favor gives a flat bonus to SP, and the bonus appears to be +50%. I'm not sure how that interacts with other bonuses such as increasing the difficulty of a leve or linking it. Regardless, if you don't have a ton of Guardian's Favor to spare, save it for leves you know will generate a lot of SP.

A special note regarding gathering: there are generally two types of gathering leves. The ones where it says "find X gathering points" benefit well from Guardian's Favor, because it applies to everything you gather. However, leves where you are sent to gather X of a specific item only apply the bonus to that item. Even though the rewards may be as much as triple, if you're only gathering three of the item, it's still just not worth it. (On the other hand, "find X gathering points" leves offer no bonus to SP compared to off-leve gathering, so SP-wise they're not worth doing unless you use Guardian's Favor.)

Difficulty
I haven't spent much time looking into the SP bonus for difficulty, but I am beginning to think that leve mob SP is based more on the leve and difficulty than the actual mob. (For instance, in the "Wight's Stuff" leve, the mobs may con red but give crappy SP, probably because you need to lower the difficulty to have a chance against them. This could be an unintended result of the change to the SP system, or it could just be Square-Enix dicking us over.) The bonus for two stars seems to be pretty big, but the next bonus drops a bit, in my experience. I'd still go for as many stars as you dare, especially since you can lower it now, but it's probably not worth dying three times at four stars when you can breeze by and get 85% as much SP at three stars.

Leve Linking
Leve linking used to be involuntary and annoying, now it's optional and really nice. There are two main benefits to leve-linking: a significant SP bonus, and the ability to complete your suite of leves faster. I don't think the bonus is quite +100% (though it's not that far off), so if you want an absolute maximum of leve SP you probably shouldn't link. However, doing two leves takes more time and more Guardian's Favor (the latter being especially bad if it turns out the link bonus is increased by Guardian's Favor), not to mention it does more damage to your weapon and other gear. IMO, you should pretty much always link when possible. It's certainly the most efficient option in strict terms of SP/time.

Hmm... I really should put some effort into actually studying all these numbers, huh?

--
There is no Mythril Sword in Elfheim
Combat Macros – January 20, 2011 12:21 AM (edited 1/19/11 7:49 PM)
Talraen (2373 posts) Doesn't Play with Others
Rating: Not Rated
I just discovered some macro facts that will go a long way towards making physical jobs a lot more fun to play, at least for me. Hell, they're probably useful for mages, too.

One of the more annoying things about FFXI was that you always needed a /wait after any action, including stuff like Boost where you wanted to do it then immediately attack. It occurred to me that, since most macro actions actually take time now (such as gear changing), maybe this isn't the case in FFXIV - and indeed, it is not. In fact, macros seem to execute one line at a time, with a built in "wait" based on how long each action takes. While this does slow down gear changes and whatnot, it has a few implications that are very, very cool.

The thing is, in most cases (see below for the big exception) a macro line that fails doesn't take any time. Therefore, you can easily make a macro where the first line is your weapon skill of choice, and the second line is a basic attack. Hell, make the third line your basic attack, and the second line another weapon skill. In this way, you can use a single macro and spam TP moves at maximum speed. Given that my biggest problems playing archer are moving around the action bar and not using my TP wisely, this makes things way more efficient and fun.

Alternately, as with the Boost thing I mentioned, you can put "augment your next attack" abilities as the first line of a macro, and they will go off when they're up. This is good to combine with a dedicated weaponskill macro, I've found. Of course, I've only been doing this for 10 minutes so far.

Now, there are three issues with this system, including one quirk that I'm not 100% sure I understand. Let me go over them quickly:

No Visible Recasts
One of the nice things about the action bar is that it gives you your recast timers, while the macro bar does not. Since this allows you to just keep the macro bar up constantly (at least with a controller, this may not be an issue with a keyboard for all I know), you tend to lose your recast timers. You could toss in a /recast, or just let go of the macro button for a second, but it's still a bit annoying. And I'm pretty sure this proves that this isn't how they intended you to play the game.

No Fine Control
This is just an inherent problem with the macro system, and an obvious one at that: you can't really pull off any conditionals. So if you only want to use augment abilities on your weapon skill, you'll need a separate weapon skill macro. Not only that, if you want to insure your weapon skill won't have just been used by your main attack macro, you'll need to take it off that. And if your basic attack macro uses weapon skills, it can be hard to build TP when you need it. Of course, you could always just use your actual basic attack button, but meh.

And Finally, the Built-In Weirdness
I tried a macro with my damage buff, then my accuracy buff, then two weaponskills, then a basic attack. It was pretty effective, with one exception: there would be a huge delay if either buff went off, but the main weaponskill didn't. As far as I can tell, this is because once an action goes off, it seems to except every following action to succeed, and there's a delay if they don't. However, having multiple weapon skills on a buff macro probably isn't a good idea anyway, so this is less of a problem than a quirk. If anyone tests this and figures out exactly what's going on, let me know.

EDIT: I almost forgot the (potentially) coolest thing about this. I haven't tried it, because Archer doesn't have any evasion/blocking-triggered abilities, but if you put such abilities before your basic attack you should automatically perform them any time they're available and you're attacking anyway. Which would be sweet.

EDIT 2: Bah, that doesn't appear to work. The "you can't do this" message seems to trump the whole "skip impossible actions" thing. Too bad!

--
There is no Mythril Sword in Elfheim
Active Users: (guests only)
1 user viewing | Refresh