althea_valara: A female red mage from Final Fantasy 11. (Default)
The Four Job Fiesta of Final Fantasy V has started! Yay!

I got White Mage as my Wind crystal job. I've previously tried to do an all-White-Mage run, so I knew it was feasible in the early game, if a bit slow. I beat Karlabos at level 7 and Siren at level 8. Also didn't have a problem with Magissa and Forza, but I forgot to write down what level I was when I beat them.

I'm now grinding in the Wind Shrine for ABP. I was hoping to get Leather Shoes from the goblins for all my characters, which I did. Next I'll target Moldwynd in hopes of some elixirs. I did try out Bandersnatches for ABP grinding, but they were a bit difficult for my white mages - I lost Bartz and Lenna on the third battle. So I figured I'd get ABP faster by targeting squishy mobs.

I tweeted for my Water job, and got Red Mage. Hmm. That should help against Ifrit, which is where my White Mage run got stuck.
althea_valara: A female red mage from Final Fantasy 11. (Default)
It's probably never going to happen, but I do think about it often. So here's my to-do list for what I'd do if I was going to return to the game.

1) Buy Arise.
2) Change to WHM/BLM.
3) Use Arise.
4) Do the Trail Cookie questline.
5) Get to Adoulin.
6) Do the survival skill quests such as I'm on a Boat.
7) Work on my macros for WHM and DNC.
8) Change to DNC and start farming sparks and bayld.
9) Get an Eminent Dagger and Homestead Dagger.
10) Start farming Dynamis so I can finish my Mjollnir.
11) Farm the other set of Serpentes that I need.
12) Farm the Orison Locket.
13) Farm more sparks for Rem's Tales.
14) Get the Piety Cap and Piety Pantaloons.
15) Work on Assaults to get Captain rank.

I could go on, but I think that's enough to start.
althea_valara: A dead white mage (dead)
It's version update time, and today marks the long-awaited launch of Neo Salvage. So far, discussion of the new gear has mixed reviews. There's a fare number of "meh"s, while others feel that there's some nice situational pieces. The mage jobs seem to have fared better than melee, and WHM will likely be happy with the update.

First, let's take a look at some non-Salvage gear. At least, I'm guessing these come from elsewhere, because I don't recall Salvage having weapons/ammo.

Oreiad's Tathlum - MND+4 Magic Accuracy+1

This ammo piece beats the Mana Ampulla for having the best MND. You lose out on the ampulla's 20 MP, but that's an easy loss these days.

Melisseus Staff - DMG:81 Delay:366 Fire elemental magic accuracy+28 Fire elemental "Magic Atk. Bonus"+28 Wind elemental magic accuracy+28 Wind elemental "Magic Atk. Bonus"+28

I doubt this beats the Magian magic affinity staves. Still, if you should happen to get one and don't have the Magian staves, this could prove useful for landing Silence and Addle. I wouldn't go out of my way to get one, though.

Sublime Breastplate - DEF:60 STR+14 MND+14 Accuracy+13 Divine magic skill +10 Healing magic skill +10

We have a new breastplate! This may make a good WS piece - I'm not the greatest on melee stats, though, so I'm unsure how it goes up against Heka's. I'm also wondering if this would be useful in Ballista (heh).

Gwyddion's Cape - DEF:8 MP+30 INT+6 MND+6 CHR+6 Magic Accuracy+2 "Conserve MP"+3

Nice enfeebling cape, though there might be better already.

Shamatha Grip - MP+15 MND+3 Magic Accuracy+2

An alternative to the Verse Strap + 1/Reign Grip. Personally, I'd stick with the Verse Strap +1 for the Enmity-3 on it, however this strap makes a nice enfeebling strap.

Now, onto the Neo Salvage gear!

Marduk's Tiara +1 - DEF:31 MND+13 CHR+13 Divine magic skill +12 Summoning magic skill +12 Singing skill +12 "Cure" potency +11% Increases "Regen" effect Set: Increases "Fast Cast" effect

Current best-in-slot for single-target cures remains the Iaso Mitra; however, as the Mitra is very expensive, Marduk's makes an easier way to get 11% cure potency on the headpiece. Definitely a piece I'd want to try for.

Nabu's Tiara - DEF:30 MP+50 Enhancing magic skill +10 Avatar: Increases magic accuracy and "Magic Atk. Bonus"

As has been pointed out on various forums already, this piece will allow a WHM to reach 500 enhancing without needing to be /SCH. Now, you all know how much I advocate /SCH; however, there's times when other subs may be better. And I'm a big fan of enhancing skill, so this, too, is a "Yes, please!" piece.

Marduk's Jubbah +1 - DEF:56 MND+15 CHR+15 Enhances "Fast Cast" effect Summoning magic interruption rate down Adds "Refresh" effect Set: Enhances "Fast Cast" effect

The best use for this would be the Fast Cast effect in conjunction with other Marduk+1 gear.

Nabu's Jubbah - DEF:54 HP+5% MP+5% STR+10 INT+10 MND+10 CHR+10 "Double Attack"+3% Haste+4%

I look forward to seeing the math done on this piece, to see whether or not it beats other available pieces for melee/WS. Currently, the Shedir Manteel (followed by Hedera Cotehardie) is the best TP piece, with Heka's Kalasiris being the best-in-slot for Realmrazer and Hexa Strike.

Marduk's Dastanas +1 - DEF:30 MND+14 CHR+14 Wind instrument skill +11 Song spellcasting time -7% Adds "Regen" effect Set: Enhances "Fast Cast" effect

Most useful as a pre-cast piece; might also be useful for an MND potency enfeebling set.

Nabu's Dastanas - DEF:28 STR+7 AGI+7 Accuracy+8 Attack+8 Magic Accuracy+5 Healing magic skill +12

Someone who is better with melee gear will need to figure out if these beat Iuvenalis Mittens for a WS piece. The extra accuracy and attac on the Dastanas sure looks nice, but Iuvenalis has MND+7, which is a modifier for our most-used WS.

Marduk's Shalwar - DEF:42 CHR+15 Healing magic skill +11 Summoning magic skill +11 Wind instrument skill +11 Increases song effect duration Set: Enhances "Fast Cast" effect

Nabu's Shalwar - DEF:39 MP+38 Healing magic skill +15 Enfeebling magic skill +15 "Cure" spellcasting time -15%

The healing magic skill might look tempting, but honestly, the MP back from Orison Pantaloons +2 is too good to give up. So these leg pieces are really only good for fastcast/precast.

Marduk's Crackows +1 - DEF:30 MND+12 Enfeebling magic skill +11 Summoning magic skill +11 String instrument skill +11 Avatar: Increases attack and Haste+2% Set: Enhances "Fast Cast" effect

I believe this is the best enfeebling skill available on feet, now. There's also the fast cast.

Nabu's Crackows - DEF:28 CHR+10 Singing skill +3 String instrument skill +7 Enhances "Fast Cast" effect

Nothing here for WHM - don't bother with these.

And there you go - some thoughts on the new gear from this update. Comments?
althea_valara: A dead white mage (dead)
Ghishlain, who knows his stuff about WHM, made an interesting point today regarding Cure V on the FFXIAH forums:
Last I checked, Cure V gets some pretty minimal increases once you exceed the 500 power threshold, which is not hard at all to do as a WHM.

In my previous post, I went over the cure formula in detail. Recall that cure power is calculated as follows:

Power = floor(MND÷2) + floor(VIT÷4) + Healing Magic Skill

Base Cure V

Let's calculate Cure V for a level 99 naked hume:

Healing Skill 424
MND 91
VIT 83

Power = floor(MND÷2) + floor(VIT÷4) + Healing Magic Skill
Power = floor(91÷2) + floor(83÷4) + 424
Power = 45 + 20 + 424
Power = 489

At 489 power, Cure V has the following stats:
Power Floor 300
HP Floor 640
Rate 2.5

Base = floor( (Power - Power Floor) ÷ Rate ) + HP Floor
Base = floor((489 - 300) ÷ 2.5) + 640
Base = floor(189 ÷ 2.5) + 640
Base = 75 + 640
Base = 715

So at power 489, a level 99 naked hume will do a Cure V of 715.

Cure V at 500 Power

Now let's calculate Cure V with 500 cure power.

At 500 power, Cure V has the following stats:
Power Floor 500
HP Floor 720
Rate 3.33

Base = floor( (Power - Power Floor) ÷ Rate ) + HP Floor
Base = floor ((500 - 500) ÷ 3.33) + 720
Base = floor(0) ÷ 3.33) + 720
Base = 720

So at 500 power, our Cure V does 720. Notice that this is only 5 HP more than at power 489! Therefore, there's not much point to adding extra cure power above 500 for Cure V.

What this means is that you can choose to gear for enmity-, conserve MP, or fast cast instead. As Cure V is our second least efficient cure, I'd probably go with a combo of Conserve MP and Enmity- gear. Here is a gear set I quickly threw together to give you some ideas.
althea_valara: A dead white mage (white mage)
The Art of Healing: Maximizing Your Single-Target Cures

FFXI forums are full of threads from DDs looking to maximize their damage. Mages like e-peen numbers, too! For a white mage, this is usually in the form of single-target cures.

For a thorough explanation of the single-target cure formula, consult BG Wiki. In general: the formula relies on Cure Potency, Healing Magic Skill, Mind, and Day of Week/Weather. We'll look at each in turn to see how they effect our cure numbers.

The formulas look like this:

Power = floor(MND÷2) + floor(VIT÷4) + Healing Magic Skill
Base = floor( (Power - Power Floor) ÷ Rate ) + HP Floor
Final = floor(floor(floor(Base × Cure Potency Equip) × Cure Received Equip) × Daywx)

Base Cure Amount

A level 99 hume WHM/SCH has the following base stats:

Healing Skill 424
MND 91
VIT 83

Let's calculate their Cure IV:

Power = floor(MND÷2) + floor(VIT÷4) + Healing Magic Skill
Power = floor(91÷2) + floor(83÷4) + 424
Power = 45 + 20 + 424
Power = 489

Base = floor( (Power - Power Floor) ÷ Rate ) + HP Floor
Base = floor((489 - 400) ÷ 2.5) + 520
Base = floor(89 ÷ 2.5) + 520
Base = 35 + 520
Base = 555

So, with no cure potency equipment, cure received equipment, or day of week/weather buffs, a naked 99 Hume WHM/SCH will do a Cure IV for 555.

Cure Potency

Now, let's add one piece of equipment: the Arka IV staff, which has cure potency 24%.

Final = floor(floor(floor(Base × Cure Potency Equip) × Cure Received Equip) × Daywx)

Ignoring Cure Received Equip & Day of week/weather:

Final = floor(Base × Cure Potency Equip)
Final = floor(555 x 124%)
Final = 688

From this, we can see that cure potency plays a significant part in upping your cure numbers. Currently, the max cure potency is 50%. You should gear yourself so that you are as close to 50% cure potency as possible.

Recall that under Afflatus Solace, single-target cures provide a Stoneskin effect. The Orison Bliaud +2 enhances this effect; therefore, your 50% cure potency should come from non-body pieces, so that you can continue to use your Bliaud.

Healing Magic Skill

Our next modifier is Healing Magic Skill. To see its effect, let's add in max Healing Magic Skill merits. Eight (8) merits provide 16 skill:

Base Healing Magic: 424
Merits: 16
Total Healing Magic Skill: 440

Calculating Cure IV again:

Power = floor(MND÷2) + floor(VIT÷4) + Healing Magic Skill
Power = floor(91÷2) + floor(83÷4) + 440
Power = 45 + 20 + 440
Power = 505

Base = floor( (Power - Power Floor) ÷ Rate ) + HP Floor
Base = floor((505 - 400) ÷ 2.5) + 520
Base = floor(105 ÷ 2.5) + 520
Base = 42 + 520
Base = 562

So, adding healing magic skill merits increased our Cure IV from 555 to 562, without accounting for gear.

Adding in the Arka IV:

Final = floor(Base × Cure Potency Equip)
Final = floor(562 x 124%)
Final = 696

Mind

Next, we'll look at MND. For the purposes of this exercise we'll use MND merits. Max MND merits add 12 MND. To compare how big an effect MND has on the formula vs. Cure Potency and Healing Magic Skill, we'll start by using our base stats.

Base MND 91
Merits: 12
Total MND: 103

Base Healing Skill 424
VIT 83

Power = floor(MND÷2) + floor(VIT÷4) + Healing Magic Skill
Power = floor (103 ÷2) + floor(83÷4) + 424
Power = 51 + 20 + 424
Power = 495

Base = floor( (Power - Power Floor) ÷ Rate ) + HP Floor
Base = floor((495 - 400) ÷ 2.5) + 520
Base = floor(95 ÷ 2.5) + 520
Base = 38 + 520
Base = 558

Adding 12 MND changed our base cure IV from 555 to 558 - a mere 3 HP. Therefore, while MND does help your cure amounts, it is not as significant as Cure Potency and Healing Magic Skill.

Day of Week/Weather Bonus

The final modifier to look at is the Day of the Week/Weather bonus. This modifier is much less significant for WHM than it is for SCH, as WHM cannot cast Aurorastorm on itself. However, the bonus can provide a nice boost should you be in a situation to take advantage of it.

For our example, let's look at our 99 Hume (excluding merits) who's naked except for a Korin Obi.

Base Cure IV = 555

Final = floor(floor(floor(Base × Cure Potency Equip) × Cure Received Equip) × Daywx)

Removing Cure Potency & Cure Received:

Final = floor(Base x Daywx)

Day = 0.1
Single Weather = 0.1
Double Weather = 0.25

Caps at 0.35

So, on lightsday or with single light weather:

Final = floor(555 x 0.1) = 610

On Lightsday with single light weather:

Final = floor(555 x 0.2) = 666

With double weather:

Final = floor(555 x 0.25) = 693

On Lightsday with double weather:

Final = floor(555 x 0.35) = 749

As you can see, you can get a significant boost to your cures with the use of a Korin Obi on lightsday/in light weather, so it's worth making a set for it. Note that the Twilight Cape enhances the bonus you receive, so if you have one, you should include that in the set.

Summary

Based on the math, you should gear with the following priority:

Cure Potency > Healing Magic Skill > Day/Weather > MND

Still to come: the best gear set for single-target cures.
althea_valara: My character from the game "Glitch" (glitch)
Well, I had to give up FFXI due to lack of funds. For about two months I entertained myself with a variety of things: reading websites & books, crocheting, playing games on my PSP, watching movies, etc. But this past week, I've gotten hooked on something new: Glitch.

[personal profile] synecdochic describes it as:
kind of like what would happen if Animal Crossing and Guild Wars got together, had a baby, and that baby was raised by really smart and awesome people. It's a "sandbox" game -- no combat, just exploring and creating -- and the way it was created and nurtured has made it that most amazing and rarest of creatures: it's a social game/MMO hybrid in which people are not jerkbags to each other.


What I like most about it is that it's gentle. There's no annoying Tom Nook to hound you, no weeds growing up everywhere if you're not around, etc. There are some "bad things" that can happen, but even the bad things aren't too bad. Your pigs might run away if you don't feed them, but with the right knowledge and skill you can get automatic feeders so that won't happen. You can die if you run out of energy, but I hear death is amusing, so even that's not terribly bad.

The game is pretty straightforward, so you likely won't be seeing strategy and tips from me here. I did go ahead and start a Twitter account where I'm tweeting my accomplishments as they happen. I'm going to figure out how to ship them here, I think.
althea_valara: A female red mage from Final Fantasy 11. (Default)
To be the best healer possible, you need more than awesome gear. You need to know how to use the tools you have. But also, you need knowledge and anticipation. What follows is a step-by-step list of everything I do before, during, and after an event.

In your spare time, work on the following:
  • Capping your healing & enhancing magic skills.
  • Obtain the Orison +2 set.
  • Build an Arka IV cure potency staff.
  • Make the Cleric's Pantaloons +2.

Before leaving town for an event:
  1. Refresh your stock of echo drops, if needed. You should have AT LEAST a full stack on you at all times.
  2. Research the NM/event you will be fighting/attending. You're looking for the following information:
    • Does the NM cast any elemental magic spells? You need to know this so you can put up the appropriate barspell.
    • Does the NM cast enfeebling magic/have TP moves that inflict status effects? Again, this is so you know if you'll need to put up a barstatus spell.
    • Does the NM use Doom or spam Sleep spells? If the former, you might want to pick up some holy waters to use. I usually just spam Cursna on myself if needed, but I carry holy waters as well just in case. If an NM spams Sleepga/Foe Lullaby, you might want to buy some Poison Potions.
    • What are the TP moves the mob uses? Knowing this can help you anticipate what spells you'll need to cast.
    • If you are doing a BCNM-type event, check to see if buffs wear upon entry or not. If not, you can buff outside before going in (my preference).

  3. Refresh you stock of traverser stones or voidstones.
  4. If going to Voidwatch: buy cells if you like, and make sure you have the proper atmacite equipped (for WHM I use Devotion and Aplomb).

When arriving at your destination:
  1. Activate Light Arts.
  2. Activate Afflatus Solace.
  3. Cast your highest Reraise on yourself.
  4. Activate Sublimation.
  5. Examine the list of party members:
    • Who is the tank (if there is one)? Is the tank in your party?
    • Who are the other healers? This is good to know so that you can Silena/wake them, if needed, or make sure to raise them if they die without Reraise.
    • What jobs are the members of your party? You need to know this so you can cast the appropriate buffs.
    • Make sure your echo drops/other meds are in your main inventory and not in your satchel/sack.

Before battle begins, cast the following buffs:
  1. Reraise, if you don't already have it up.
  2. Protectra V & Shellra V.
  3. The appropriate bar-element spell, if necessary. If the NM casts several elements, pick one.
  4. The appropriate bar-status spell, if necessary. I prioritize the following, in rough order:
    1. Baramnesra. If the mob uses a move that can cause Amnesia, I put this up. We have no way to remove Amnesia, alas, so out of all our barstatus spells, this is probably the most important.
    2. Barsleepra. Because if you, the WHM, get slept, it can REALLY make a mess of things.
    3. Barsilencra. Definitely prioritize this move if the mob uses Silence-ga moves and you're in the mage party.
    4. Barparalyzra, because paralyze is just so freaking annoying.

  5. The appropriate Boost-stat spell:

    • If you're in the DD or tank party, cast Boost-STR.
    • If you're in the mage party, cast Boost-INT.
    • Alternatively, Boost-VIT is usually a good choice, regardless of which party you're in. Especially consider this if you're in the tank party and the mob uses nasty TP moves that cause a lot of damage.
    • For best results, run out of AoE range after casting Boost-stat on your party members, and cast Boost-MND for your own use.

  6. Accession -> Stoneskin.
  7. An additional AoE buff:
    • If you have a NIN tank, I recommend Accession -> Aquaveil.
    • If in the mage party, do Accession -> Hailstorm or Accession -> Aquaveil.
    • If in the DD/tank party, do Accession -> Blink. Be aware that Blink doesn't stack with Utsusemi shadows (you can have one or the other, but not both), so if there's a lot of /NINs in the party, I'd do Aquaveil instead.

  8. Auspice
  9. Haste. First on the tank (if in your party), then on yourself, then on the remaining party members. Ranged jobs (COR and RNG) do not need haste, unless they are melee-ing.

During battle:

  1. Cure for the appropriate amount. Your goal is to use the cure spell that will fill up the HP gauge without going over. While MP conservation isn't usually an issue these days, there will still be times when you WILL run out of MP. Thus, I highly recommend you develop the habit of not over-curing. It's much more MP efficient, which means you can do your job more effectively.
    • Like all rules, there's an exception. If the mob you're fighting does highly damaging TP moves, it might actually be better *to* over-cure, so you can keep Cureskin on the tank. This is especially true in low-man situations in Abyssea. Example: I used this strategy while fighting Hedjedjet with a WAR tank.

  2. Keep up your haste cycle. Remember: tank (if in your party), then you, then other members.
  3. Keep Regen IV on the tank, if they're in your party.
  4. Recast buffs as needed:
    • If you're in Voidwatch, use a Fanatic's and Fool's drink before running in to recast buffs.
    • In other situations, cast Stoneskin/Blink on yourself before running in.
    • Of course, some mobs are {Easy Prey} and thus won't require taking the extra precaution. Use your best judgement.
    • It is always best to STAY ALIVE. Buffs are great - I like buffs! I am very pro-buff! But if the mob is spamming nasty moves, it's much better to stay on the back line and keep yourself safe, even if it means your party will lose buffs.
    • Watch the chatlog for dispelled buffs. Recast the buff if you can. It's especially important to put Shell and Protect back on the tank, if those should be dispelled.
  5. Use Celerity->Raise to quickly raise any fallen members. Your priority is: tank, other healers, jobs that can cast sleep (if crowd control is necessary), then anybody else.
  6. Anticipate. Anticipate. Anticipate. Watch the chatlog for the mob's TP moves/magic spells. If the NM is about to do a heavily damaging move, be ready to cure the tank. If the mob is about to use a move that inflicts a status effect, be ready to cast Esuna, Erase, or the appropriate -na spell.
  7. If in Voidwatch: try to keep Fanatic's and Fool's drinks up as much as possible. Gnostic's drink is also good to use.

If you should die during battle:
  1. Wait until it's safe before getting up. Yes, this can mean that sometimes other party members will die as well before you can get up.
  2. Cast Reraise on yourself or use a Reraise item as soon as you get up and are in a safe spot. The most important part of your job is making sure you have Reraise on. This is why point #1 exists: you don't want to get up only to die right away without having reraise. Because if the party wipes and no one has Reraise, it's game over.
  3. Activate Light Arts & Afflatus Solace. And actually, I recommend you combine 2 & 3: my Reraise macros all activate LA/Solace before casting Reraise.
  4. Cast Haste on yourself. WHM can still do its job pretty well even while weakened, but your recast timers SUCK, so get Haste on yourself ASAP.
  5. Cure the tank.
  6. Cure yourself.

After battle ends:
  1. Raise fallen members. Prioritize anyone who can help raise, first.
  2. If doing Voidwatch, clear your items from the chest.
  3. Recast buffs, if you will be fighting the NM again.
  4. If doing Voidwatch, trade more cells if you'd like.
althea_valara: A female red mage from Final Fantasy 11. (Default)
To be most effective as a White Mage, you need to understand what your available job abilities are. It also helps to understand what job traits you get, as some of them can influence how the job is played.

WHM has the following magic skills:

Healing: A+ (skill cap 424 at job level 99)
Divine: A- (skill cap 417 at job level 99)
Enhancing: C+ (skill cap 378 at job level 99)
Enfeebling: C (skill cap 373 at job level 99)

As /SCH with Light Arts active, Enhancing & Enfeebling get bumped up to a B- (skill cap 388 at job level 99).

You should work on capping your healing magic first, followed by enhancing, then enfeebling, then divine.

Job Abilities

White Mage gets the following job abilities:

Benediction - our 2-hour ability, obtained at level 1. Restores a large amount of HP and removes all status ailments for party members within area of effect. For an in-depth view, see the wiki.

Benediction generates a LARGE amount of enmity, so if you use it, there's a good chance you'll end up dead. This shouldn't prevent you from using it, though! You should always have reraise on, plus WHM suffers less from being weakened than other jobs (our primary issue is casting time reduction, followed by lower MP pool -- although the latter isn't an issue with temps and atma in Abyssea and Voidwatch).

To be honest, I haven't used Benediction in quite some time. To me, it's best used when the stakes are high: when death of the party would be disastrous. I would absolutely consider it if you're fighting a rare NM, or one whose pop item is annoying to get (ADL, PW, AV, etc). Also consider using it if you're in a timed group event, such as (lol)Legion or Einherjar. In Abyssea & Voidwatch, though? Eh....not really. Usually in those cases, death of the party/alliance just means letting the NM despawn and popping it again. One scenario where it might be good in those events is if the NM is at very low health or time is running low, and you want to make sure it's killed so you haven't wasted your time.

Divine Seal - Obtained at Level 15, it enhances the potency of the user's next healing spell.

For cures and curagas, this means it doubles the amount cured. Be aware that extra cure amount = extra enmity generated; a Divine Seal'd Curaga has a very good chance of drawing the mob's attention to you.

After level 50, Divine Seal can also be used for status removing. To quote wiki:
When activated in conjunction with the job trait Divine Veil (obtained at level 50), status removal spells change from single target to AoE.

* Functions with Poisona, Paralyna, Blindna, Silena, Cursna, Stona and Erase.
* With the exception of Erase (party only), it is possible to cast a status heal onto someone else's party and have it become AoE for their party instead.

These days, I primary use Divine Seal for its Divine Veil effect.

A note for those who use the /RDM subjob: I highly suggest you do NOT use Divine Seal in your Convert macro to help cure you back to full health. Cure VI is usually sufficient to get most of your health back; you can then top yourself off with an additional cure if needed. Divine Seal should be used on the party, not yourself.

Afflatus Solace - obtained at Level 50. Inspires you to draw strength from the healing spells you cast. For a full description of what it does, see the wiki.

You'll be most interested in this job ability for the following affect:
Cure Spells: grants the target the effect of Stoneskin for a short duration; the effect is not exclusive to party members. Strength of Stoneskin varies with the type of Cure used (higher Cures provide a stronger Stoneskin). Effect is not applied to Cura or Curaga.


In the long run, Afflatus Solace's "cureskin" affect will save you MP as you'll need to cure less often. For this reason, you should develop the habit of activating it every time you zone in somewhere. The effect lasts 2 hours, and has a recast time of 1 minute.

Cureskin effect is 25% of HP cured, for a max of 300 HP. If you wear the Orison Bliaud +2, this is increased to 35% of the cured amount and raises the capped amount to 400 HP. Your goal should be to cap cure potency with other gear, so you can use the Orison Bliaud +2 for this increased effect.

The Sacrifice spell is best used while under Solace, as it becomes able to absorb up to 7 status ailments instead of 1, and will also become able to absorb most ailments that are typically only healed by Erase.

Other benefits of Solace include additional Magic Defense Bonus for your barspells, and a more potent Holy.

Afflatus Misery - also obtained at job level 40, it inspires you to draw strength from the damage you take. For a full list of what it does, see the wiki.

You'll be most increased in Misery for the following effect:
Esuna 2 status ailments instead of 1, and will become able to remove most status ailments that are typically only removable by Erase.


Using Esuna while under Misery is a great way to remove status effects. For an in-depth look at this, see my guide to removing status effects.

I also use Misery when meleeing, for the following effect:
Auspice: adds light damage to initial attacks and an accuracy bonus when target is missed. These effects are applied to the WHM only, and only when Afflatus Misery is active. It is possible to cast Auspice while under Afflatus Solace, switch to Afflatus Misery afterward, and start receiving these effects without needing to recast Auspice.

Absolutely use Misery & Auspice if you're soloing; they help your DD efforts so, so much.

Other benefits of Misery include a stronger Cura and Banish. For details on this, see the wiki.

Divine Caress - obtained at level 83. If the next spell you cast cures a status ailment, your target will gain enhanced resistance to that ailment. Note that this doesn't work with Erase or Esuna.

Tank getting hit with Paralyze spam? Divine Caress, Paralyna! Now the tank has additional resistance to paralyze.

There are a few reasons why I consider myself a good--even a very good--white mage, but not a great one. Divine Caress is a strong reason why. I'm aware of the ability, and have used it, but I simply tend to forget about it. This is something I intend to work on improving, and you should to.

Sacrosanctity - Our newest job ability. Obtained at level 95, it enhances magic defense for party members within area of effect.

Sacrosanctity is great for those "oh shit, the mob's about to use $MEGANUKE and we're low on HP!" moments. It wears off very quickly with damage -- basically, only good for taking one nuke. It also has a fairly long recast at 10 minutes. For this reason, I prefer to use it in the middle of a battle rather than at the start, as I feel it can do the most benefit then (mobs tend to be more likely to nuke/use devastating magical moves if they have TP fed to them, plus your party members will likely have lowered HP, might have had shell/barspells dispelled, might be weakened, etc).

Martyr - a merit JA which you can get at level 75, if you choose. Sacrifices HP to heal a party member double the amount.

Honestly... I don't see the point of this. I don't have it merited, and I don't suggest it. It might have been good back in the days when lack of MP was more of an issue, but with the current state of the game, you really shouldn't be having that problem. So you'll likely always have the MP to throw out another cure.

Plus, with proper gear/skill, our cures are quite potent now, so a Cure V/VI can cure a large chunk of a DD's HP. There's also Divine Seal if you really need to double a cure. So.... yeah, I wouldn't waste your merits on this.

Devotion - a merit JA which you can get at level 75, if you choose. Sacrifices HP to grant a party member the same amount in MP.

I really like this JA, and have 2 merits in it. If you choose to merit it, I wouldn't go over 2 merits; most of your Group 2 merits should go towards Protectra/Shellra V.

It's important to note that this JA works as a percentage of your current HP, so you should make sure to heal yourself to full before using it. If you have any gear that has HP on it, you should put that on (and cure yourself to full!) before using it, too. It's also pretty much a waste to use it when you're weakened.

If you choose to merit this ability, I strongly encourage you to consider making the Cleric's Cap +2. When augmented, it increases HP converted to MP by Devotion by 2.5% per merit level.

Other Job Abilities

You also gain access to additional job abilities from your subjob. In general, those are:

Elemental Seal - obtained with Black Mage set as your sub-job. Enhances the Magic Accuracy of the player's next spell. For WHM/BLM, it's best used when trying to stick an enfeeble such as Sleep(ga), Paralyze, Slow, etc. It has a ten-minute recast.

Convert - obtained with Red Mage set as your sub-job. Swaps current HP with MP. Convert is a primary reason why WHMs choose /RDM, as it allows you to get a mega-chunk of MP back in a jiffy. It has a ten-minute recast.

Scholar JAs - You obtain access to a whole bunch of job abilities with Scholar set as your subjob, which I described in detail in my How to /SCH article. In general, the job abilities you'd be most interested in are:
  • Light Arts - makes your healing/enhancing magic spells 10% cheaper and faster
  • Sublimation - drains your HP and converts it to into an MP pool, which you can then access when full to get back a chunk of MP at once
  • Accession - Makes your next spell into AoE. Using this increases the cost and casting time of the spell.
  • Penury - Halves the MP cost of your next spell.
  • Celerity - Halves the casting time of your next spell.


Job Traits

White Mage gets a variety of fun job traits. Traits are always active.

Magic Defense Bonus - Improves defense against magic spells. We get level VI at job level 91. This job trait is one reason why it can be fun to solo the Prime Avatar fights as WHM--their Astral Flow will barely hurt us!

Clear Mind - Increases the amount of MP recovered while resting. Basically, makes you regain MP faster when you're {/heal}ing. We get Clear Mind V at job level 80.

Tranquil Heart - a job trait that was added fairly recently. Obtained at level 21, this trait reduces the enmity gain when casting healing magic. Before this trait existed, it was much easier for me to get too much enmity and thus have the mob's attention turned to me. Since the trait was added, this happens at a much, much less frequent rate.

Auto Regen - exactly what it says. We get Auto Regen II at level 76. It's strong enough to counteract the HP slip effect of Sublimation.

Divine Veil - obtained at level 50, this trait allows you to use Divine Seal to turn a -na/Erase into AoE. For additional details on how to use this, see my guide to removing status effects. The Orison Cap +1/+2 includes a small Divine Veil effect, which means that any -na/Erase you cast while wearing it has a chance of turning AoE, even if you don't activate Divine Seal. Definitely make sure you wear it while casting these spells. Professional WHMs (those for who WHM is their main job, and their passion) will want to look into building the mythic club, Yagrush, as it gives a permanent Divine Veil effect, making ALL your -na/Erases AoE. Someday I will have a Yagrush, oh yes I will....

Divine Benison - Quickens spellcasting for status ailment recovery magic. Grants a bonus to enmity reduction. We get Divine Benison V at job level 90. Basically, this makes your -na/Erase spells faster to cast. Orison Pantaloons +1/+2 increase its effect, so you should make sure to swap those in when casting your -na/Erases.

Any questions? Leave a comment here, or send me a /tell in game.
althea_valara: A female red mage from Final Fantasy 11. (Default)
Although just about any job can make an effective subjob for WHM, the three most commonly used are Black Mage, Red Mage, and Scholar. All three make good choices, though /RDM tends to be better than /BLM due to its increased options for MP conservation.

However, I personally believe Scholar makes the best subjob for White Mage in most situations. In this article, I'll explain how to play with this subjob.

Step 1: Light Arts

The very first thing you should do as a WHM/SCH is activate Light Arts. It provides the following benefits:
  • Reduces casting costs of light magic spells by 10%
  • Cuts effective casting time and recast of white magic spells by 10%.
  • Grants a bonus to Divine Magic, Healing Magic, Enfeebling Magic, and Enhancing Magic. The bonus is equivalent to the amount required to bring the skill ranking to a B- grade


In other words: it makes your spells faster, cheaper, and stronger.

For example, take the line of raise spells. They cost 150 normally. With Light Arts active, that cost is reduced to 135. This means you can cast more spells before you have to rest.

The stronger bit won't affect your healing/cures - we already have the best healing magic skill in the game - but it WILL affect your Enhancing magic, thereby making your barspells and Stoneskin stronger.

Step 2: Sublimation

Your next order of business is to activate Sublimation. What it does is slowly siphon off your HP, converting it into a pool of MP. Once the pool is full, you can then use it to get a chunk of MP back at once.

The amount you get back depends on the HP you had while it was ticking. As a hume with my current gearset, I get get back 327 MP at a time.

I find that WHM's native auto-regen cancels out the HP slip effect normally caused by Sublimation, whereas on SCH main I tend to cast Stoneskin lest I end up in yellow HP.

Because you are technically losing HP (even if it doesn't look like you are), you cannot rest if Sublimation is active unless you cast Stoneskin.

Note that because Sublimation is effected by HP and generates pretty slowly as /SCH, I find it's not great to use when weakened; you don't get that much back. Still better than none, but eh, to me it's normally not worth it, since I'd have to cast Stoneskin in order to rest. So I just skip the sublimation/stoneskin and rest up instead.

Step 3: Understanding your {Light Arts} Job Abilities.

Scholar has a LOT of job abilities (called Strategems) to use, and as /SCH you'll have access to a few of them. They are as follows:

Addendum: White
I mention this only so you're not wondering what it is. As Scholar main, this ability gives you access to spells you ordinarily wouldn't be able to use. For instance, in order for a SCH/RDM to cast Reraise III on themselves, they have to activate Addendum: White. As far as I know, all spells that SCH would use Addendum: White for are spells WHM already has, so there should be no reason for you to use this JA.

Celerity
Reduces the casting time of your next White Magic spell by 50%.

My favorite use is to toss a Celerity -> Raise III at a dead body in the heat of battle, so I can get them up quickly and get back to curing. Also good for getting everyone on their feet again after a wipe, as your Raise spells will be available sooner.

Penury
Reduces the MP cost of your next White Magic spell by 50%

I haven't needed this one as much as in the past. Used to be that my MP pool would dwindle low enough that I'd have to use Penury -> Cure V/VI in order to heal someone. Not so much these days.

Still, it's GREAT to use in combination with your Raise spells when there's been a wipe. Light Arts already reduces Raise the cost of Raise to 135; with Penury, you can cast raise for as little as 68 MP. NICE.

Accession
Extends the effect of the next Healing or Enhancing White Magic spell to party members within range. MP cost is doubled and casting time is tripled.

I already covered some uses of Accession in my post on removing status effects, which I recommend reading. Accession can also be used with buffs.

For example, back in the old-school Dynamis days, we often ran with two parties with me as the main/only healer. I would cast Protectra/Shellra on my party, then do Accession->Protect V followed by Accession->Shell V on a member of the other party, to give that entire party protect/shell. That LS still runs Dynamis to this day, though often it's just one party--so I end up doing Accession->sneak/invisible instead. :D

I also like to use Accession'd buffs before NM fights. Most commonly it's with Stoneskin, and sometimes Blink, if there are no NINs or /NIN in the party. If I'm with mages or NINs/people subbing /NIN, I'll commonly give everyone Aquaveil instead.

Note that you can only Accession spells that Scholar gets natively. This means no Accession->Haste.

Also, do be aware that it increases the recast time of the spell. It can be very frustrating waiting for Erase to be available again after you Accession'd it.

Step 4: Dark Arts

Generally, you won't be using Dark Arts much, however you should have a basic understanding of what it offers.

Dark Arts does everything Light Arts does, except it works on elemental/dark-based enfeebles instead. While under Dark Arts, you have access to the following job abilities:

Addendum: Black
This one is actually useful to a WHM, as it gives access to Dispel & Sleep. I don't often have reason to use this JA, but it's worth knowing. Primarily, I use it in Abyssea seal parties, if the BLM I am with is subbing /WHM or /BRD and thus doesn't have access to Dispel.

Alacrity
Reduces the casting time of your next Black Magic spell by 50%. I haven't used it as WHM/SCH, but you should know what it does in case you want to use it.

Parsimony
Reduces the MP cost of your next Black Magic spell by 50%. Again, I haven't had reason to use this as WHM/SCH.

Manifestation
Extends the effect of your next enfeebling1 black magic spell to targets within range. MP cost is doubled and casting time is tripled.

Okay, this one I have used with WHM/SCH! Mostly, I used it in old-school Dynamis to do an {Aspir}ga:

/ja “Dark Arts”
/ja Manifestation
/ma Aspir

You can also use it to do an AoE Sleep:

/ja “Dark Arts”
/ja Manifestation
/ja "Addendum: Black"
/ma Sleep

Stratagem Recast Time

To be an effective WHM/SCH, you need to develop a good sense of when your stratagems are available to use.

Each stratagem takes 1 charge to use. As /SCH, it takes 2 minutes for a stratagem to charge, and you can have a max of 2 charges available at any time.

Switching from Light Arts to Dark Arts doesn't count as a stratagem; it's like switching from Solace to Misery.

In my two examples above, I could use Alacrity with my {Aspir}ga macro because it only used one stratagem as written. However, I could NOT use Alacrity with the second example, because the AoE-Sleep macro already requires two stratagems (Addendum: Black and Manifestation).

Thus, when buffing your party/alliance before battle, you'll be able to Accession at most 2 spells... after that, you'll have to wait 2 minutes to do the next one.

To check how many stratagems you have available, you can use the /recast command. I usually do /recast penury. It will look like this:

[Penury] 1:13 (1)

This means I currently have 1 stratagem available, and the next one will be available in another 1 minute 13 seconds.

Summary

Scholar is a very powerful subjob for white mage, allowing you to be more effective and efficient at your job. In a nutshell, /SCH gives you:

  • 10% Faster casting and recast times while under Light Arts
  • 10% Reduced MP costs while under Light Arts
  • MP recovery with the use of Sublimation
  • A boost to your Enhancing Magic skill (from C+ to B-) and Enfeebling Magic Skill (from C to B-)
  • Job abilities that let you reduce your next spell's MP cost by 50% (Penury) or its casting time by 50% (Celerity)
  • The ability to cast AoE buffs, -na, and Erase (Accession)
  • Access to Dispel and Sleep while under Dark Arts
  • Access to Aspir (best cast in Dark Arts; while you CAN cast it in Light Arts, it will be 10% slower/cost more)


Any questions? Leave a comment here or send me a /tell in game!
althea_valara: A female red mage from Final Fantasy 11. (Default)
This is not meant to be the be-all/end-all guide for WHM gear options; rather, it's a general guide for someone who's relatively new to the job. I'm only going to be looking at end-game gear (aka, what you'd wear at level 99. If you're looking for the optimal sets for WHM, there's many threads on the most popular forums discussing just that; one such example is this thread at FFXIAH.

In general, your gear selections should be based on the following criteria, in rough (but not exact) order:


  • Cure Potency. Current cap is 50%. Get as close to that cap as you can.
  • Healing Magic Skill, for use with single-target cures.
  • MND. Good especially for Curagas and MND-based enfeebles
  • Enhancing Magic.
  • Fast Cast
  • Enmity- gear
  • MP


Never, under any circumstances, should you use gear that ONLY gives you MP. For the love of Altana, people, don't use Graiai earrings or similar HP/MP convert earrings/rings. Max MP just isn't needed in this day and age. Between temp items, Lights Arts and Sublimation (if you're /SCH), Refresh and Convert (if you're /RDM), and gear auto-refresh, it is very rare that you'll ever run out of MP. Also, there are soooo many options that give you MP AND something additional, such as fast cast or extra MND. Always choose items like that over a straight MP item.

Anyway, here's some options!

Main

Best option: Arka IV, Cure Potency 24%
Other Options: Apollo's Staff, Nathushne +1", Tefnut Wand

If you intend on playing WHM often, make an Arka IV. It's not that hard. Even just taking it up to Surya's Staff level (trial 1701) beats an Apollo's/Light Staff.

For a while the Tefnut Wand when paired with an augmented Genbu Shield beat the Surya's, but that's no longer true. Still, it's a nice alternative if you don't have the Arka.

If you don't have a Tefnut/Nathushne or Arka/Surya's, then you should be using an Apollo's Staff (preferred) or Light Staff (acceptable).

Sub

What I use: Verse Strap +1, MND+3 enmity-1

Any grip that has MND or enmity- is good on it. With the new change in cure formulas, the Curatio grip with Healing Magic Skill+3 might beat the Verse Strap +1, but I suspect it'd be pretty negligible.

Ammo

Ideal: Mana Ampulla, MP+20 MND+3 hMP+2
What I use: Incantor Stone, MP+10 Increases "Fast Cast"

Actually, the ideal is to precast in Incantor and finish in Mana Ampulla, but since I play on Xbox and thus don't use Spellcast, I just stick with Incantor.

Head

Ideal: Iaso Mitra is the currently acknowledged ideal, I believe. DEF:30 MND+10 Healing magic skill +10"Cure" potency +11% Enmity-5

What I (and pretty much everyone else) uses: Orison Cap +2, DEF:30 MP+50 MND+10 "Cure" potency +10% Enhances "Divine Veil" effect Set:Augments elemental resistance spells

You need the Orison Cap +2 for your max barspell set anyway, and it's still a really, really good piece for cures, so yes, do make it.

While you're working on getting your Orison Cap done, the Walahra Turban or Cleric's Cap +2 are good alternatives.

Neck

Ideal: I've seen both Phalaina Locket (MND+3, "Cure" potency +4%, Potency of "Cure" effect received +4%) and Colossus's Torque ([Light] +20,Healing magic skill +7, Enhancing magic skill +7O, Lightsdays:Healing magic skill +10, Enhancing magic skill +10) recommended as ideal, depending on capped cure potency....

What I use: Fylgja Torque+1, HP+12 "Cure" potency +3% Enmity-2

Recomended: Assuming the person reading this is NOT going to be maining WHM.... I'd go with the Colossus's Torque. It does take some effort to get, but it's not exceeding difficult, plus it's free! And it's a very, very good piece, which is recommended for max enhancing anyway. So, yeah: a pretty good piece for cures (possible the best piece?) plus the current best enhancing neck piece makes the Colossus's Torque a win.

I currently use Fylgja Torque+1 for cures, and Colossus's Torque for my enhancing set.

Earrings

What I use:
Loquacious Earring, MP+30 Enhances "Fast Cast" effect
Roundel Earring, DEF:1 "Cure" potency +5%"Waltz" potency +5%

There's many good options, here! I believe Roundel is still considered the best earring for cures; nothing else comes to mind otherwise. Loquacious has been around for a while, but is still very strong. If you're a main mage and your Moonshade earring isn't otherwise used, you might want to consider a Refresh+1 augment on it.

If you can't afford or don't want to buy a Roundel earring, the Orison Earring at "Cure" potency +2% Enmity-3 is a very nice alternative.

Basically, your earring choice should either increase your cure potency/MND or quicken your spellcasting.

Body

Ideal: Orison Bliaud +2
DEF:49 HP+45 MP+45
Healing magic skill +20
Adds "Refresh" effect
Enhances "Afflatus Solace" effect
Set:Augments elemental resistance spells

It gives extra Cureskin. This makes it the best option for your single-target cures, provided Cure Potency is capped otherwise. If at all possible, you want to use this.

However, to be effective, you really do need your cure potency to be close to the 50% cap, so if it's not, you'll want to use something else. Best options are

Heka's Kalasiris
DEF:51 MND+17
"Cure" potency +15%
"Cure" spellcasting time -15%
Adds "Refresh" effect
Sphere: Enhances "Fast Cast" effect
Set: Adds improved "Refresh" effect

which is what I use for my Curaga set, as they don't get Cureskin. You can also use

Noble's Tunic
DEF:40 MP+17 Adds "Refresh" effect "Cure" potency +10%

Orison Bliaud +2 is also the best body to wear for elemental barspells. For all other enhancing magic, the current best is

Anhur Robe
DEF:48 INT+14 CHR+14
Enhancing magic skill +12
Elemental magic skill +12
Summoning magic skill +12
Enhances "Fast Cast" effect
Sphere: "Magic Atk. Bonus"+5
Set: Magic Accuracy+5

Heka's is also the current best for MND-based enfeeble potency, IIRC, but if you don't have Heka's and want a cheap alternative, then your choice is

Praeco Doublet
DEF:50 INT+15 MND+15 CHR+15
Magic Accuracy+5
Song spellcasting time -10%

Hands

Ideal: Augur's Gloves
DEF:20 MND+7 CHR+7
Healing magic skill +5
Enhancing magic skill +5
"Cure" potency +4%

I've been wanting these since the moment I first laid eyes on them. Alas, I still don't have them. {/cry}

I've seen the following recommended as an alternative these days:

Healer's Mitts
DEF:14 MP+15 STR+7 MND+7
Healing magic skill +15
Enmity-4

I'm hoping to do some Limbus soon so I can get these myself. In the meantime, I use:

Blessed Mitts
DEF:18 MP+15 MND+7 Haste+5% Enmity-3

I had used my Orison Mitts +2 when I first got them, but honestly, they're kind of meh for general usage. Blessed Mitts with MND and haste are better. You'll want to get the Orison Mitts +2, though, for your elemental barspell set.

Rings

Recommended/Ideal: Sirona's Ring, VIT+3 MND+3 Healing magic skill +10
Ephedra Ring, DEF:4 Healing magic skill +7Enhances "Cursna" effect

GET. THESE. They are the current best rings for your cures. The only way to improve on it would be the Haomas Ring which is the HQ of the Ephedra.

A lot of WHMs like/recommend the

Prolix Ring
MP+20 Enmity-3
Enhances "Fast Cast" effect

I agree this is a mighty fine choice, should you be lucky enough to have one.

Before the healing magic skill update, I used two Star Rings, which give MP+20 MND+4 [Water] +9 MP recovered while healing +1. Still a nice alternative... but Sirona's/Ephedra are better these days.

Like earrings, there's a lot of great options to choose from. Just don't use a convert HP/MP ring, please.

Back

Ideal/what I use:
Tempered Cape, DEF:9 Healing magic skill +4"Cure" potency +4%

Alternatives:
Oretania's Cape, DEF:7 HP+20 "Cure" potency +4%
Orison Cape, DEF:8 MP+10 "Cure" potency +3%Enmity-4

Those are your best options for a curing back piece. For enhancing, it's probably

Merciful Cape
MP+25 Enhancing magic skill +5
Elemental magic skill +5
Dark magic skill +5

..and I'm now wishing I chose that from the Mog Bonanza instead of the Altruistic Cape. Oh well.

Waist

What I use: Cascade Belt, MND+7 Enhancing magic skill +3

There's lots of good options for belts, but I haven't kept up with what is the most ideal for the spot right now. For cures, it's possible that the Bishop's Sash with DEF:5 Divine magic skill +5Healing magic skill +5 is the best right now; I'm really not sure. Choose anything with MND, Enhancing Skill, or Healing Magic Skill on it. I believe there's also fast cast belts, too, which are also a good choice.

Legs

This one's easy:

Orison Pantaloons +2
DEF:41 MND+7
Healing magic casting time -12%
Converts 5% of "Cure" amount to MP
"Divine Benison"+1
Set:Augments elemental resistance spells

SO. GOOD. OMG. When the Orison set first came out, this was the item I most wanted from it. These pants are what makes WHM so MP efficient these days. Get these. Use them for your cures. Use them for your -na/erases, too: they quicken the spellcasting time on them.

You should also have the following:

Cleric's Pantaloons +2
DEF:40 HP+24 MP+24
Healing magic skill +18
Enhancing magic skill +18
Enmity-5
Elemental resistance spells +25
Augments "Shellra V" effect

Use these in your elemental barspell set, your enhancing set, and when casting Shellra V. These pants are also mindblowingly good. If you want to be the best WHM possible, you should have both.

While working on getting these, use either the regular quality Cleric's Pantaloons, or the

Blessed Trousers
DEF:32 MP+25 MND+6 Haste+3%
Enmity-5

I still use my Blessed Trousers for meleeing.

Feet

Ideal for cures: Zenith Pumps +1 augmented with cure potency/healing magic skill

Ideal for enhancing: Orison Duckills +2
DEF:18 HP+30 MP+30 MND+8
Enhancing magic skill +20
Enhances "Auspice" effect
Set:Augments elemental resistance spells

You need the Orison Duckills +2 for your enhancing/barspell set. They're also a good choice for cures, though not the ideal. You won't be a bad WHM if you use them for your cures.

I use the following for my cure set:

Marduk's Crackows
DEF:20 MP+3% MND+10
Enfeebling magic skill +5
String instrument skill +5
Summoning magic skill +5
Enmity-4
Set: Enhances "Fast Cast" effect

I'm pretty sure these were considered the best feet for cures before the healing magic skill update, provided you were capped potency otherwise. They are still a mighty fine choice... though the augmented Zenith Pumps+1 are better, if you get good augments on them.

A lot of white mages use the following hands/feet combo:

Serpentes Cuffs
DEF:16 HP+17 MP+17
Daytime: Adds "Regen" effect
Nighttime: Adds "Refresh" effect
Set: "Cure" potency +5%

Serpentes Sabots
DEF:14 HP+13 MP+13
Daytime: Adds "Refresh" effect
Nighttime: Adds "Regen" effect
Set: "Cure" potency +5%

Benefits: Cure Potency +5% is nice, plus a permanent refresh/regen effect, plus some HP & MP.
Drawbacks: It takes two equipment slots to get this.

They're a good choice if you need the cure potency and don't have other means to get them. They're also a really good choice for an idle set (I idle in the cuffs; I don't have the boots). However, they're not the ideal choice; Augur's Gloves with some good MND feet would be better.

Sometime in the future I might work on posts that look at individual gear sets, rather than discussing pieces by slot. In the meantime, if you have any questions, send me a /tell in game or leave a comment here.
althea_valara: A female red mage from Final Fantasy 11. (Default)
When people think of the White Mage job, maybe of them think, "cure bot" - aka, someone who casts cure spells on the party. While it's true that cures are our primary function, one of the most important aspects of the job is its ability to remove status effects. No other job can remove them as quickly or efficiently as an WHM can. To me, this is what makes WHM the best healer in the game.

Unfortunately, many people who play white mage don't understand just how powerful it is at this function. This article will explain all the different ways there are to remove status effects, so you can elevate yourself from the Abyssea-burned masses.

The most basic of white mages should know the following:


  • Paralyna: Removes Paralyze.
  • Poisona: Removes Poison.
  • Blindna: Removes Blind. Doesn't work on Flash.
  • Stona: Removes Petrification.
  • Silena: Removes Silence.
  • Viruna: Removes Disease and Plague.
  • Cursna: Removes Curse and Doom.


Erase removes most other status effects. It will not remove Amnesia (prevents job abilities), Muddle (prevents the use of items), Encumbrance (prevents you from using gear/weapons), or ST20 (super curse).

If the entire party has been hit with a status effect, the most basic of white mages will cast Erase or the appropriate -na spell separately on each player. This is not efficient! There are more efficient/quicker ways to do AoE status removal. We'll explore each of them below.

Method #1: Esuna

Esuna is one of your most powerful spells. It's my absolute favorite spell for white mage (no, seriously). BG wiki has a very good description:
Esuna: Removes 1 negative Status Effect from the casting White Mage and anyone within 10' that is normally removed by Viruna, Cursna, Blindna, Poisona, or Paralyna.

There are more advanced methods to using Esuna, which we'll explore in a bit; for now, focus on this. If all you learn from this article is using Esuna to remove Paralyze from everyone instead of casting individual Paralynas, you will already be better than many WHMs.

Note that for Esuna to work, the White Mage must be inflicted with the negative Status Effect in order to remove it. I.e., you must be poisoned yourself to use Esuna to remove poison on everyone. This is why if you've ever partied with me, I might have yelled at you for casting a -na spell on me. :p

Also: Esuna only works on members of your own party, not on members in the other parties of your alliance.

Method #2: Sacrifice

"But wait, what if my DDs got hit with something but I didn't because I was standing far enough away? I can't use Esuna then!" Ah, but that's where Sacrifice comes in! BG Wiki

Sacrifice: Transfers one enfeebling effect from target party member to yourself. Afflatus Solace: Increases effect removal potency.

* Removes 1 negative Status Effect from the target that is normally removed by Viruna, Cursna, Blindna, Poisona, or Paralyna and applies that status effect to the White Mage.
* With Afflatus Solace active, it can remove up to 2 Status Effects, including those normally removed by Erase.
o In addition to removing spells removed by Erase, Sacrifice is the only spell that can remove the effect of ST20 (super curse).


I fully admit that Sacrifice is one of my weaknesses as a WHM; I'm aware of the spell and have used it in the past, but I feel I don't use it nearly as much as I should. Need to work on that!

Method #3: Divine Veil

Divine Veil is a job trait that White Mage gets at level 50. Basically, what it does is let you AoE -na spells and Erase by using Divine Seal. Your entire party hit by slow? Divine Seal + Erase = GONE!

Benefits:
  • It's quick!
  • You don't have to be inflicted with the status yourself.
  • It works with any -na spell & Erase.
  • If used with a -na spell, it can work across parties in the alliance. (Erase is party-only).


Drawback: you can only use it every ten minutes. Still, it's a very nice tool, and these days I use Divine Seal only for its Divine Veil effect. Learn this trick, and you'll be well on your way to being a good WHM.

Method #4: Accession

Accession is a job ability you get if you sub Scholar, and is one of the many, many reasons I main WHM/SCH rather than WHM/RDM. Accession will turn the vast majority of Healing/Enhancing spells into AoE.

For the purposes of removing status effects, think of it as a more frequent Divine Veil (though it can do more than just that!). It has a drawback, though: MP cost is doubled and casting time is tripled.

Like Divine Veil, you can use Accession on other parties in the alliance, provided the spell you're casting is not party-only.

Method #5: Afflatus Misery

The very best white mages in the game know how to use Afflatus Misery to quickly remove status effects.

At level 40, WHM gets access to two job abilites, or stances: Afflatus Solace and Afflatus Misery. They each do a variety of things, but usually, a White Mage is in Afflatus Solace because under when the WHM casts a cure while under that effect, the target receives a small Stoneskin effect (often called "Cureskin" by players).

Most of the time, you will want to be in Afflatus Solace: cureskin is just that good.

To understand when you should flip into Afflatus Misery, we need to look at the advanced usage of Esuna:

Esuna: With Afflatus Misery active, it can remove up to 2 Status Effects, including those normally removed by Erase.


Normally, you'll be using Esuna to remove a single status effect that can be removed with a -na spell. But, what if:

  • the party is inflicted with Paralyze AND Poison?
  • the party has multiple stat down effects on them?
  • the party has been hit repeatedly with Diaga or Slowga, and both Divine Veil and Accession are down?


In each of these cases, you can change over to Afflatus Misery and use Esuna.

Note that Afflatus Solace/Misery have a 1:00 recast. That's not THAT long, but it's long enough that if you're being hit with multiple status effects repeatedly, it can be difficult to go back into Solace for Cureskin. In general, you'd want to stay in Solace and use one of the other methods above for removing status effects.

But, if you find that the mob is spamming nasty moves constantly? There is absolutely nothing wrong with staying in Misery for an entire battle, if it means you can get those effects off your party quicker. I've done it many times.

So, in conclusion, the tl;dr version:

  • Esuna removes one status effect that could be removed with a -na spell from your entire party while under Afflatus Solace. You must have the status effect yourself for it to work.
  • Sacrifice absorbs up to two status effects while under Afflatus Solace, including those removable by Erase. Under Afflatus Misery, it absorbs one status effect, -na only.
  • Divine Veil and Accession make any -na spell (can be used on other parties in the alliance) or Erase (your party only) into an AoE. Don't need to have the status effect on yourself.
  • While under Afflatus Misery, Esuna removes up to two status effects, whether the status effect would normally be removed by a -na or by Erase. You must have the status effect(s) yourself for it to work.


Any questions? Leave a comment here or send me a /tell in game.
althea_valara: A female red mage from Final Fantasy 11. (Default)
Yesterday a friend asked if I could share my WHM macros with him. I've been meaning to write them up anyway, for a long time now, so this gave me the kick in the pants I needed to finally get it done. Thanks, Esca!

You can access the full version here, which includes (most of) my gear swaps and the actual commands:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AmC0_Z2msbv7dFk5dGVaNjYzS0Z2Rm9obkZZOXVacHc

Inspiration for this macro set came from the Scholar Macro guide on FFXIclopedia. Features include:
  • Navigational controls, to get to various macro sets quickly
  • Support for both /SCH and /RDM subjobs
  • Quick access for important job abilities
  • Optimal layout for your most-used spells
  • Macros for commonly used temp items


One thing I don't have is a Sublimation macro. I find that since Sublimation ticks so slowly as /SCH, it's not too much of a bother for me to go into the job ability menu manually when I need to use it. If you're the kind of person who might forget about it, you might want to stick it in the macros somewhere.

A brief intro/explanation of each macro set follows.

Macro Set 1: Navigation
CTRL: LArts | CGa3 | Cures | sNa  | Buff   | sBar    | sNuke  |sRaise | SlpGa | Refresh
ALT:  ASPIR | aSol | aMIS  | DivS | MPshow | (blank) |eBattle | eRest | KEY   | CONVERT


The CTRL line is your navigation. LArts activates Light Arts. Macros 2 (CGa3) to 8 (sRaise) switch to the appropriate macro set. For example, pressing the Cures macro will execute the "/macro set 3" command, switching your macros to bank 3, which contains your cures & regen spells.

SlpGa was created for Dynamis runs; it does an AoE Sleep II (assuming you're /SCH). I don't really use it, and honestly forgot it was there, heh. Refresh casts refresh on yourself, and is found on most banks set so you'll have easy access to it should you be /RDM.

ASPIR is fun. It casts and AoE {Aspir}ga, which I used often in old-school Dynamis to quickly get a bunch of MP back when I was running low. Note that this will boost your enmity quite a bit, so be careful; best to use it on sleeping mobs. It looks like this:

/ja “Dark Arts”
/ja Manifestation
/ma Aspir
(gear swap lines)

aSOL & aMIS activate Afflatus Solance & Misery, respectively. DivS is Divine Seal. MPshow tells the party how much MP I have. eRest will equip my hMP resting gear, and eBattle swaps back into my normal gear. KEY is used for opening chests in Abyssea. CONVERT is my handy convert/Cure VI macro, in case I am /RDM.

Macro Set 2: Curaga / Melee Set
CTRL:  TOP  | CGa5 | CGa4 | CGa3 |   CGa2  |  CuGa  | BoxStep | Quick  |Stun  | Healing
ALT:  ASPIR | CuA3 | CuA2 | bDEX | Auspice | eMelee | Realm   | Mystic | Hexa | Utsu

Line 1 contains Curagas 1 - 5 in descending order, plus the /DNC job abilities Box Step, Quickstep, Violent Flourish, and Healing Waltz. I like /DNC a lot for meleeing on WHM; it can be especially fun in Dynamis, which is why those macros were made, for use with proccing.

Line 2 has our {Aspir}ga, Cura III, Cura II, Boost-DEX, and Auspice. The last two are very useful with melee-ing, though you might want Boost-STR instead; I haven't decided which is best. eMelee swaps into my TPing set. Realm, Mystic, Hexa are various WS sets, and Utsu will cast Utsusemi, should I be /NIN. The macro tries to cast Ni first, then tries to cast Ichi if Ni's not available.

Macro Set 3: Cures / Haste
CTRL:  TOP  |CGear | Cur6  | Cur5 | Cur4 | Cur3  | Cur2  | Cure     | Accession | Penury
ALT:  ASPIR | Idle | Haste | Reg4 | Reg3 | DIAGA | Flash | Devotion | Celerity  | Refresh


Your base macro set. Most of the time, you'll be on this bank. I've positioned it as set 3 rather than having it as set 1, because from here, you can go one set 1 to get to your Curagas, or one set down to get to your -Na spells. As -Na & Curaga are your next-most used spells, putting the sets in this order gives you the quickest access to the stuff you'll use most often.

Most of the macros on this set should be self-explanatory. CGear/Idle are due to me playing on an Xbox; since I cannot use Spellcast, I have to manually switch into an idle refresh set.

You don't need Diaga/Flash on this set; I have them here because I've been doing a lot of Voidwatch lately, and needed quick access to them (Diaga spam is required for Lancing Lamarok, and Flash is your quickest spell to cast when attempting to proc, whether it's in Abyssea, Dynamis, or VW).


Macro Set 4: -na/erase spells
CTRL: TOP  | PoiNa | ParNa     | BliNa | Silena |Stona | Viruna   | Cursna   | Accession | DivS
ALT: ASPIR | Erase | Sacrifice | Esuna | aMIS   | aSOL | DivCares | HlyWater | ECHOdrop  | Vicars


aMIS is on this page so I can swap into Misery if needed for its enhanced Esuna effects. Likewise, DivS lives here because I primarily use it for its Divine Veil effect rather than boosting my cures.

HlyWater for removing Doom, though frankly I usually just spam Cursna on myself... but it's good to have the macro just in case!

Do make an ECHOdrop macro. As a healer, it's very important that you can get Silence off yourself quickly. My macro tries various temp items before it will use an Echo drops, and looks like this:

/item “Catholicon”
/item “Catholican +1”
/item “Vicar's Drink”
/item “Cleric's Drink”
/item “Echo Drops”

Macro Set 5: Buffs

I'm thinking about moving this set further down, and moving the barspell & nuking/enfeebles up higher, as I tend to use those more... haven't decided yet. Anyway, this is what it looks like:
CTRL: TOP  | PrSh5 |   bVIT  | bDEX  | bMND  | bINT     | Pr5     | ShV  | Accession | Penury
ALT: ASPIR | Haste | Auspice | SSkin | Blink | Aquaveil | Phalanx | bAGI | Celerity  | Refresh


PrSh5 is my Protectra/Shellra macro, looking like this:

/p {Gather together.} {Protectra} & {Shellra} in 3
/wait 3
/equip ring1 “Sheltered Ring”
/ma “Protectra V”
/equip legs “Clr. Pantaln. +2”
/ma “Shellra V”

Also on this bank are the various Boost- spells, single-target Protect/Shell 5, and other buffs. Remember that Phalanx is /RDM only.

Macro Set 6: Barspells
CTRL:  TOP | bStone | bWater  | bAero  | bFire    | bBlizz | BThunder | FAN    | FOOL   | Sacro
ALT: ASPIR | bSleep | bPoison | bBlind | bSilence | bPara  | bVirus   | bPetra | bAmnes | Refresh


FAN & FOOL are Fanatic's Drink and Fool's Drink, respectively, for use with Voidwatch. Sacro is our newest job ability, Sacrosanctity. Rest is self-explanatory.

Macro Set 7: Nukes/Enfeebles
CTRL:  TOP  | Repose | DiaII | Silence | Slow | Paralyze | Diaga | Addle | CGa3  | Cur4
ALT;  ASPIR | Ban3   | Ban2  | Banish  | Bga2 | Bga      | Holy  | Holy2 | Flash | Refresh


Occasionally, you'll need to do a magic proc in Abyssea or Voidwatch. I just recently added a Curaga 3 and Cure 4 macro to this set because it's annoying to have to swap back a few pages to my cures if someone needs healing, then flip a few more pages back to this set to try the next proc. Ugh. Cure 4 is probably the single-target cure I most use; with the healing magic skill update to the cure formulas, it's quite potent these days, so it works well as both "oh shit someone's in red" and "this person needs topping off".

I chose Curaga III because it's the middle of the line; not *too* overpowered if all I need from a Curaga is waking the party, but still powerful enough that it'll be good to use if we got hit with a TP move.

One macro on this page that you might want to duplicate elsewhere is Repose, our light-based sleep.

Macro Set 8: Raises
CTRL: TOP   |  Ra3 | Ra2  | Raise   | (blank) | RRscroll | (blank) | (blank) | Celerity | Penury
ALT:  ASPIR | ReR3 | ReR2 | Reraise | (blank} | (blank)  | (blank) | (blank) | (blank)  | Refresh


RRscroll is my newest macro; it will try using a Dusty Reraise and Instant Reraise scroll. Good for annoying Voidwatch NMs that like to kill everyone; it's faster to use a scroll than cast reraise, and sometimes your MP is too low to cast, anyway.

My Reraise macros look like this:

/ja “Light Arts”
/ja “Afflatus Solace”
/ma “Reraise III”

You should always, always, always have Reraise up. And if you're /SCH, you should have Light Arts up 99% of the time. Also, you should primarily be in Afflatus Solace for its Cureskin effect. This macro takes care of putting all three of these on, so you won't forget any of them.

And that's it! Free free to send me a /tell or leave a comment here if you have any questions.
althea_valara: A female red mage from Final Fantasy 11. (Default)
Kitty has been determined to win the Sarutabaruta region for Bastok. We intended to do this a week ago, but there was no way that'd be happening since our influence was so, so slim. So we decided to wait until this past weekend.

Part of our plan was to level some of my lowbie jobs there, with Kitty synced to me. Ges had been teasing me about the need to level NIN, so I headed out to West Saruta as NIN on Saturday afternoon. And immediately ran into Tom Tit Tat.

...well, you know me & NMs: I just had to fight him. :lol:

Storming Saruta! by Althea Valara, on Flickr

It was a close fight as I was only NIN 12 / DNC 6 at the time, but I won. :) No way I would have won if Kitty hadn't given me some shihei. Thanks Kitty!

Storming Saruta! by Althea Valara, on Flickr

Kitty joined me a bit later, on SMN. I was really hoping we'd manage to pop Nunyenunc while we were out there. What do you know - he popped while I had run back to town to NPC stuff. >_< But the group that claimed him invited Kitty into their party to lot on it, so Kitty got a Pilgrim's Wand for herself. YAY!

Since it'd be at least two hours until Nunyenunc popped again, we decided to head to Giddeus for a while--but on the way we couldn't resist seeing if Numbing Norman was up. Which he was:


Storming Saruta! by Althea Valara, on Flickr

..so I got a Pike for myself. :)

We had been in Giddeus for a while when I hit level 15. Yay! I used all the scrolls I had bought in Norg earlier to learn the Ichi elemental spells, even though I didn't have any of the tools. I like to keep up on my spells, after all. :) Shortly after this Kitty asked me, "hey, where's your second weapon?"

...yeah, I had been out in Saruta for FIVE LEVELS and had only had one weapon equipped. :oops: Just goes to show that DDing doesn't come naturally to me, because I had totally forgotten that Ninja gets dual-wield so soon. :lol:

Kitty had to go afk for about a half hour, so I took a nap during that time. Once she returned (and awoke me with ), I switched to BST so I could have widescan, and we returned to West Saruta to camp Nunyenunc. It took a while, but he eventually popped, and we were able to claim him before anyone else did -- and I got a much-desired Pilgrim's Wand for myself. YAY!


Storming Saruta! by Althea Valara, on Flickr

We were both tired by this point, so deciding to call it an early night.

Since I had gone to bed so early, I was awake early, too -- around 4:15am (part of that was due to the time-change, though). I signed back on and switched to SMN to continue the storming. WE MUST WIN!!!

Esca signed in a bit later and asked if I had started trading equipment yet. I hadn't. He said that he would head out to the OP and trade a bunch of stuff. When he headed out, Windy was Dominant and both Sandy & Bastok were Minimal, though Bastok had a small but promising bit of influence in the region, while Sandy had pretty much none. With all of the stuff Esca traded, he managed to single-handedly flip us from Minimal to Minor. GO ESCA!!!

At this point I started trading the stuff I had, too. By the time Kitty signed in, Esca and I had managed to get Bastok to being a sliver underneath Windy. Woohoo!

Kitty's trades put a sliver ABOVE Windy. {excitement}!!!!

Still, we were both worried that Windy would take it back at the last minute, so I logged onto Valara and began shouting for help while Kitty bought out the AH:


Storming Saruta! by Althea Valara, on Flickr

Did the shouting help? I think it did. Kitty reported seeing a few more Bastokans out in Saruta on one of her trips back. And I received a /tell with an offer of help. Thanks, Demki!


Storming Saruta! by Althea Valara, on Flickr

Bastok was now showing as Major, but we were still biting our nails nervously during the final minutes before tally, as our lead was small enough that Windy could have still overtaken it. And then the tally happened, and WE WON!!!!


Storming Saruta! by Althea Valara, on Flickr


Storming Saruta! by Althea Valara, on Flickr

Thanks to everyone who helped out and cheered us on. We both are rather broke now and have to replace some of our gear (I gave up my beloved Jaridah Peti) but it was worth it. :D
althea_valara: A female red mage from Final Fantasy 11. (red mage)
I really did love the idea of this journal. The problem is that I got too caught up in playing the game. Heh. At first I kept really good notes with the intention of sitting down and writing up the entries sometime, but even that stopped after a while. Now I just play like crazy. <3

I would love, love, love to get back into writing up stories. And maybe I will. But at the very least I can write quick posts (*snerks* who am I kidding? am incapable of writing short posts) of what I'm up to, so that I have some record for when I do feel the creative urge happening. And so, here's some random stuff that happened recently.

1) Last night I did mining in Gusgen for the first time. At first I was scowl-y at how far apart the mining points are. But then I dug up a darksteel ore (!!!) and also got my first gold ore and yellow rock. Plus since there's weather in the mines, I was able to get some lightning/earth clusters as well. I'm pretty pleased with the outcomes, so I think I might continue mining there for a bit. I need to see what else drops there, for farming purposes. I took a quick peek at the NM list last night but it appears that they mostly drop elemental rings. *yawns*

2) I tried out DRK this week. I was pleased at how strong it was, even at low levels. Was killing EP with 2-3 hits from the scythe. My level 52 RDM still sometimes takes two hits to kill a freaking Goblin Thug, so... yeah. Impressive.

3) Saturday was OMG INSANELY BUSY AND LONG!!! We did Promy-Holla & Promy-Dem. Dem was pretty easy, but Holla kicked our butts the first time. Needing a break, we then went and did Windy mission 5-1 & 5-2... yup, we killed the Shadow Lord (my gods that was easy). Pumped up from our win, we went back to Holla and kicked some Wreaker butt.

This weekend is Promy 2-3, and potentially some BCNMs (we were thinking Petrifying Pair or Royal Jelly). I plan on doing some more mining (mmm...mining), as I want to get goldsmithing/smithing to 20. Possibly also farming for Alchemy ingredients, as I'd like to get that to 10.

I should get more icons.
althea_valara: A female red mage from Final Fantasy 11. (Default)
I left Bastok a mere day after I arrived. It was late afternoon when I made my way over to the teleport vendor. "Where to?" he asked.

"Valkrum". Oh joy, the Dunes again. My very favorite place. At least I wouldn't be staying long.

I closed my eyes as the world shifted. When it righted itself I opened my eyes--and yup, there was the damned outpost.

"Back so soon?" Medicine Ax called to me.

"Gotta catch a boat," I called back. I waved, and wasting no time, headed to Selbina. I did not want to fight any damselflies if I could help it. I had to skirt around a few goblins, but made it to Selbina without incident.

I hesitated at the steps leading down into town, biting my lip. Had I forgotten anything? Maybe I should stop at some of the vendors. But oh goddess, what about the ferry ticket? What if I didn't have enough?

I really need to learn to ask more questions before heading off.

Well, nothing to do but to find out. I squared my shoulders and marched down to the ticketing office.

"Yes?"

"One ticket to Mhaura," I said. I held my breath. I really hoped I had enough for this...

"100 gil, please"

I broke out in nervous laughter, causing some glances to be thrown my way. "Here you go," I said, grinning as I handed over the gil. Apparently travel is cheap. Who knew?

I sat down on the dock to wait. A mithra was waiting, too; she looked at me curiously, nodded in greeting, then turned away and started casting magic. The spells she was using were way beyond my level; I knew enough to tell that she was a summoner, and it appeared that she was somehow replenishing her MP, but I couldn't tell you how; it looked very complicated. It was hard to believe that someday I might be able to do such magic.

A horn blew to signal the ferry's approach. I quickly hopped to my feet & grabbed my pack as it docked. The Mithra summoner boarded first, Carbuncle running around her feet. I followed them into what I can only describe as a holding room. It looked like it would be used for extra cargo storage when the ferry wasn't carrying passengers.

I leaned against the wall and tried not to stare as others boarded. I have a habit of making others uncomfortable, unfortunately; my curiosity gets the better of me. There were a few others, but not many. What I couldn't understand was why my fellow passengers were taking the ferry; they all looked like seasoned adventures--surely they had permits to ride the airship?

The horn sounded again. I stumbled as the ferry lurched away from the dock. I'd never been on a boat before. I hoped I wouldn't get seasick.

Once we were safely away from the dock, the porter opened the inner doors leading up to the deck. The others filed ahead of me; my attention was caught by a vendor. But he didn't have anything that caught my interest, just some potions & medicines that I either couldn't afford or didn't need.

I headed up the stairs and out onto the deck. "Aha!" I said as I spied the others, who were all standing at the rails, fishing. That explains why they were taking the ferry. Can't catch fish on an airship.

I drifted over to the railing myself. The cool breeze played with my hair. It carried the scent of salt & fish. So different from the smoke & dust of home.

The sun was setting behind us. Selbina was shrinking in the distance, all reds and golds from the setting sun. The stars and night sky were creeping over the little town. I stared in awe at the beautiful sight--and with a bit of trepidation, too. Soon I would be farther away from home than I'd ever been--all the way to another continent.

Selbina slipped over the horizon. I sighed, then turned around to look out at the sea ahead of us.. Islands lay gray in the distance beyond our reach. There was only the sound of waves breaking over the bow and the snap of fishing lines being thrown and reeled in.

I stood at the bow for some time, watching as the moon arose over the distant gray landmasses, turning them a shining white. I was uncertain of how much time had passed when suddenly something cold and wet pressed against my back.

I yelped and spin to see a puk before me, about to attack. I fumbled for my sword, thankful I had gotten into the habit of carrying it with me at all times. I winced as the puk bit my arm, but then my sword was in hand and I brought it down--once, twice, thrice, and the puk was dead.

Breathing hard, I looked around in amazement. No one had even bothered to look up--they all still stood at the rails, silently casting their lines. Bewildered, I started to put my sword back in its sheath, but stopped as I noticed something on it. I lifted it up, and saw fish scales clinging to it. "Eww!" I grimaced, running a hand over my sword to pull them off, then shaking my hand over the railing to fling them back into the sea, where they belonged.

When I finished cleaning up, I sheathed my sword, then turned my back to lean against the railing, looking curiously at my passenger-mates again. I suppose such attacks must be a common occurrence if they didn't even draw attention.

An Elvaan was fighting with his line, reeling furiously. With a great heave he pulled it in--but it wasn't a fish; it was another monster. He didn't even panic, just dispatched it with a flash of a dagger, re-baited his line, and cast again.

It was at times like this when I really felt my inexperience.

The rest of the trip was much of the same. Lines being cast, fish caught, monsters dispatched.

Then, in the distance, a large, gray shape. The rising sun hit it and the grays shifted to greens and browns. I stood in shock. What I was looking at could only be Heavens Tower, the giant tree of Windurst. It dominated the skyline, much bigger than anything I had ever seen. Bigger, even, than Jeuno perched on its bridges and supports above the channel.

I was, indeed, a very long way from home.

Why me?

Jun. 2nd, 2009 05:28 pm
althea_valara: A female red mage from Final Fantasy 11. (Default)
I lay awake in bed most of the night, my head spinning with thoughts. Most of all: Why me? I've barely started adventuring - why would they ask someone as green as me to do this mission when they have experienced folks like Naji eager to volunteer?

I mean, I do feel like I'm getting stronger. I don't struggle as much in battle, and I can use higher-level spells now. But I still have a lot to learn. And I can't even beat a damselfly yet!

So no, it can't be my battle skills they want. It's got to be something else.

Perhaps it's the fact that I am so new? Maybe they think I won't question their orders. Maybe I can pick up on something an experienced officer can't, simply because I don't have any idea what to expect.

Laying in bed isn't going to give me any answers. I obviously wasn't going to get any sleep & dawn was breaking, so I decided to get up and go for a walk.

The city was just starting to stir. Merchants were sweeping their sidewalks and drawing back curtains. Water splashed merrily in the fountain. A young Galka ran by, startling a sleeping Elvaan, who sat up with a start and blinked a few times, then started laying out his bazaar merchandise again. A few hopefuls were gathered at the auction house windows, ready to pounce should a tempting item be listed for sale.

I've been spending so much time in the dunes chasing damselflies that I had forgotten what the city sounded like. The clang of the blacksmiths, the creak of the drawbridge, the water tumbling in the wheels, merchants & customers haggling over prices: all these combined to give Bastok its own unique song, full of energy, discovery, innovation--and yes, adventure.

I stopped in the middle of the Galkan Bridge, leaning on the railing, looking towards the port where an airship was landing. There was still so much to learn about this place I called home.

But now was not the time: I had to go far away, not only to another city but another continent. What kind of song would it have? I couldn't even begin to imagine.
althea_valara: Crouching with exhaustion. (this is rough)
A girl can only take so much of getting knocked out. I've been whacking at flies with all the strength I possess, but I still don't have what it takes to bring one down.

I camped for the night near the outpost, hoping that the sounds of other adventurers whomping creatures of the night would inspire me somehow. What to do, what to do?

I could stay in the Dunes & continue to fight, but that didn't seem smart; I was getting more exhausted with each day, and as a result my techniques was getting clumsy. I was afraid I'd develop bad habits.

I could go to Jeuno. There's a lot more shopping there than at homel maybe I'd find better gear or an awesome weapon that would help me out. But Jeuno was still far away from here, through areas even worse than the Dunes. I was too tired for such a journey.

In the end I decided to go home and get some REAL rest. It'd be really good to sleep in a bed again rather than waking up with sand in uncomfortable places. So I got up early the next morning, intending to get a head start on the long trip home.

I guess I was grumbling too much as I was packing my gear because the outpost vendor asked me what was wrong.

"I'm heading back to Bastok today," I told him. "Not looking forward to the long walk there, though."

He smiled. "You haven't been adventuring long, have you?"

"Um, no. Why?" I said, while struggling to shove my blanket in my pack.

"Because I can teleport you there."

I dropped my sword and looked up at him. "You can?"

"Yep. I'll won't even charge you, since this is your first time and all."

I shrugged my pack on & grabbed my sword. "What are we waiting for, then?"

He laughed. "Okay, here we go."

I reflexively closed my eyes. The world blinked, and then my skin was prickling as the scorching hot Dunes weather gave way

to the gentle warm breeze of Bastok. I opened my eyes ande found myself standing outside the residence area in the Mines district. I was home!

Grinning, I set off to my apartment near the Markets. I couldn't resist stopping at the auction house to see if there was anything good for sale--such as, oh, a lighter but strong sword capable of killing damselflies, perhaps?--but nothing caught my eye. I was just about to step into the residence to see if I had received any deliveries when I heard a voice calling my name.

"Althea! Hey, Althea!"

I turned and saw it was Naji, one of the guards regularly stationed outside the President's office. "Hey, Naji," I said. "What's up?"

"The President wants to see you."

"ME? What could the President want with me?"

"I don't know, but you'd better come along. He doesn't entertain guests very often."

So I followed him through the Metalworks, wondering what in Altana's name was going on. Maybe he wanted to chew me out for reading that report? But that didn't make any sense... why would an insanely busy man such as the President waste his time with that? Especially since Lucius already had given me a dressing down.

We had reached the roof of the Metalworks when Naji suddenly blurted out, "Boy, you're lucky."

I looked at him. "Lucky? Why?"

"I hear you're going overseas." Overseas?! my brain echoed as he continued on. "Usually, I would be giving you your orders, but this time, the president's aide wants to meet with you in person. I don't know if the missions you've been on so far were tough for you... But this time, I'm sure it's going to be a real challenge. I mean, you're going to have to go to both San d'Oria and Windurst..." WINHURST?!?! "It's not like going somewhere nearby, like Gustaberg or the Konschtat Highlands. You'll have to travel by sea, too." He sighed. "And I'll be here, doing guard duty as always."

I... really didn't know what to say to that; my mind was still reeling too much at what he had told me to say anything comforting to him. There was no time for awkwardness, though, because we had reached the President's office.

"Good luck," Naji told me, flashing a quick smile both friendly and sad before taking up his post at the bottom of the stairs again. "Oh, and make sure you don't say anything that might offend him... He's really touchy."

Oh boy.

I entered the office, where I found the President and his aide, Lucius, bent over a report. They looked up as I entered.

"Ah, we have been expecting you. I remember meeting you after your first mission," Lucius said. Yeah, I guess I made an impression on him, huh? "Let me introduce you. This is Sir Karst--"

"President Karst. That is how you will address me," the president said. Naji was right--he does seem touchy. "Lucius, what was that about a first mission?"

"The report from the Zeruhn Mines, sir. About the Talekeeper--"

"Hmph. Those Galka again. I was not informed you had met with the messenger, Lucius."

The messenger? I'm standing right here!

"I did not feel it was necessary to bother you with such trivial matters, sir."

"'President,' Lucius."

"My apologies. I am sorry for not having informed you about the Galka, Mister President."

"No matter." He finally seemed to remember I was there and turned back to me. "Here are your orders. As you know, there are three other nations aside from our own in Vana'diel. The Kingdom of San d'Oria, the Federation of Windurst, and the Grand Duchy of Jeuno. Jeuno is still professing neutrality, so I want you to go to San d'Oria and Windurst. It does not matter which you go to first, as long as you go to both. I will give you a letter of introduction, which you will present to the consuls in both nations. Any questions?"

"Uh, no," I said. Actually, I had, oh, tons of questions, but I was still reeling from how fast this all was happening and couldn't think of a way to ask them that wouldn't make the President grouchy.

"Good," the President said. "Lucius, the letter."

This is your letter of introduction," Lucius said, handing it to me. "Present it to the consuls and they will give you further instructions."

"Those are your orders. Depart quickly. You are dismissed," the President said, turning his attention back to the report on his desk again.

I walked out, and found that Naji had been waiting for me rather than standing guard.

"So, how did it go?" he asked. "Did the president nag at you?"

I shook my head. "After seeing how much he was nagging at Lucius, I decided not to give him a reason to nag at me."

"I hear ya," Naji said. "I still can't believe that Chief Cid actually backed that guy during the elections... Oops. You didn't hear me say that, okay? I gotta go. Good luck on your mission!"

"Thanks," I said. "See ya."

The questions I hadn't dared to ask raced through my head. Why am I being sent? What do I do once I get there? I hope I'm not meant to be a spy, 'cause that'd be rather uncool. And why couldn't Naji have given me these orders, like he usually does?

And apparently I don't need to go to Jeuno because they are "professing neutrality". But he wants me to go to Sandy and Windy, because... they aren't? Does that mean he's expecting them to attack Bastok?

I do tend to have an overactive imagination, so that's probably not his reason. But if that isn't... than what is?

My feet must've automatically carried me home, because the next moment I was opening my door with no memory of having passed through the Metalworks.

"Welcome home, Master!!" my moogle greeted me.

"Huh?" I blinked and started. "Oh yeah, right."

I barely registered his prattle about my plants and deliveries as I crossed the room in a daze and sat on the bed. I looked around. The familiarity of my furnishings had slipped away while I was gone; though I recognised them as belonging to me, they felt strange & out of place. Or maybe it was me that was out of place. How much longer did I have to journey before I had a real home again?
althea_valara: Crouching with exhaustion. (this is rough)
I've been spending the past few days trying out synthesis. Brass ingots, hard-boiled eggs, hairpins. I've had decent success for someone so new to it, but still, it's always frustrating when it fails & I lose materials.

I'm beginning to become known around town, so people have been asking me to do harder stuff. Things that I'm not capable of doing at the moment. I need better weapons and armor, and for that you need to either synethesize things or buy stuff at the Auction House. I've been spending even more time doing the latter than the former. Sometimes I feel like I spend hours standing at the counter, checking out prices, looking for great deals on some good armor or finding out what the latest going price is for the stuff I don't need anymore.

It doesn't matter if you synthesize or bid on auctions--either way, you need gil. So I headed out to Dangruf Wadi. Figured I'd fight some goblins while looking for that jewel Horatius wants me to find. Didn't find the jewel, but what with all the fighting goblins I finally managed to become strong enough to advance a level. I'm now classified as a Level 16 Red Mage. Yay!

I've also done my first gardening. Thanks to the help of my Moogle, I've managed to grow some La Theine cabbages. Haven't learned to prepare them yet, but it feels good to grow my own food. Probably will save me some money in the long run. Mobs tend to drop seeds, so that means I don't have to buy prepared food.

So yeah, I'm doing lots of stuff to help myself out. But I could really use some friends. Yeah, I'm a loner and am capable of handling things by myself, but it's a heck of a lot of work. It'd be easier if I had someone to adventure with. I've been looking for linkshells and searching for people headed in the same direction as I am, but no one's been interested in adventuring with someone as green as me. Guess I'll have to adventure on my own for a bit longer.
althea_valara: Crouching with exhaustion. (this is rough)
Right, so I need to find out how to get copper ingots. Since it was a goldsmith who asked me, I figured I'd head to the jewelry shop to see if I could buy some. Seems obvious, right?

No such luck--copper ingots aren't for sale. But I noticed a side room off from the shop, and me being the inquisitive girl that I am, couldn't help checking it out.

A woman looked up as I entered. "Are you here to join the Goldsmithing Guild?" she asked. I said, "Uh, yes?" I mean, I'm still not entirely sure what all this adventuring stuff entails, so maybe I need to learn how to smith...

She signed me up and told me a bunch of stuff that I can't remember about how the Guild works (my mind tends to wander when it comes to bureaucratic stuff like that), but then she started talking about synthesizing things. Which is TOTALLY COOL. Basically you take a crystal and a bunch of stuff and do some hocus-pocus on it and end up with something entirely new.

And then she gave me my first synthesis recipe and GUESS WHAT? Yup, it's for a copper ingot! I need the following: 1 Fire Crystal, 1 chunk of copper ore, and 6 copper nuggets.

I know you can get fire crystals from killing monsters; when I was down in the mines attempting to beat up some bats, I saw others finding crystals on monsters they whoop-assed. But... I don't know where to get the rest. Because of course the store doesn't sell those items.

Which means it's back to the drawing board on that copper ingot. *sighs*

Meanwhile, I've been trying to finish the stamp hunt. I thought I had found all the stamps, but when I tried to give the sheet back to Arawn he just waved it away and kept talking about the badge that Alib-Mufalib had given me to help recruit some Sentinels. And by that he means mercenaries.

...I just don't know what to think about that. It's not like Alib-Mufalib gave me much choice; he badgered me into agreeing to help him before I even realised I'd been asked to do something. I suppose I could just ignore the thing, but it seems like people's eyes are drawn to the badge even when I'm not trying to bring it to their attention.

I'm the kind of girl who has never really held strong opinions about anything, because my world was so tiny there wasn't anything to have an opinion about. But since I've started adventuring the world's gotten much bigger and suddenly I'm surrounded by opinions. I don't know anything about Aht Urghan other than it's on the Aradjiah continent and that's a long, long way from here. Others seem to know a lot, though, because they sure do have strong opinions--so much that some of them are thinking about becoming mercenaries and joining the Sentinels.

And now I can't help wondering why I'm doing this adventuring thing anyway. I knew it involved questing and fighting monsters and magic-casting. Questing is fun, and I'm not opposed to fighting monsters because they're all over the place and something needs to be done about them. But mercenaries? That's not killing monsters, that's killing people. Which is something I'm not sure I'd want to do.

Too many frustrations. Too many things to think about.
althea_valara: A female red mage from Final Fantasy 11. (Default)
When I came to, I found myself back in Port Bastok, where I started my adventuring. I don't know how I got back there. I'm assuming some carried me, but... well, no one in town knows me; how would they know to bring me there?

Weird.

Since I was still feeling sore from my "battle" (if you could call it that), I decided to talk to more townsfolk and see what I could learn. Which means my list of quests has grown considerably:

  • Michea, an Elvaan goldsmith, wants me to bring her a copper ingot so she can complete an order.
  • A housewife wants to buy four flint stones from me so she can cook dinner.
  • Hungry Wolf wants me to bring him a Galkan sausage.
  • Malene's had a package stolen by a monster and has asked me to find & retrieve it for her.
  • Nbu Latteh would like me to bring a copper ring to her daughter as a gift from her.
  • Benita's looking for a quick way to clean her chimney. Apparently her mother-in-law knows a way, so I'm to track her down and ask.
  • Brygid thinks I will look smashing in a robe and bronze subligar, and wants me to obtain such items for her amusement. *rolls eyes* I could use them, though, so I might as well.
  • The mercenary company "Salaheem's Sentinels" has asked me to help recruit new members.


Oh, and I still need to finish that stamp hunt and kill some monsters in the mines. Sure have enough to keep me busy for a while. Especially since I have no idea where/how to get some of this stuff. I mean, copper ingots? Can you buy those somewhere?

I've heard some interesting tidbits about the town. Some folks in the Metalworks were gossiping about the Chief Engineer, a hume named Cid (why does that name sound familiar)? They say he's brilliant, but a bit short-tempered. Too engrossed in his work, I guess. And some of the Galka have mentioned...well, it sounds like a myth, actually, about a wise Galka who disappeared twenty years ago. I'm intrigued. I love a good mystery.

I'm annoyed about those bats. Except for some childhood scraps, I haven't had any experience with fighting. It'd be nice to find a mentor who could give me some pointers.

Profile

althea_valara: A female red mage from Final Fantasy 11. (Default)
Althea Valara

July 2017

S M T W T F S
       1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031     

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 25th, 2017 10:33 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios