Interview with Ston3 of Angered, the first to clear Alexander Creator Savage

Cornelius_FFXIV_Articles_WorldRace_Final

World Race Graphic credit:  Jessica Cornelius

Before the interview, I would like to take this time to thank Frosty and Riunia for their coverage of the World First race.  It was extremely exciting to wake up to clears and to see how tight the race really was.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1gVerF6ITF7iXkyjZBELAGbhWEBilLIFLesCXnLMaZXk/edit#gid=0

This is a link to Frosty’s spreadsheet which was updated live with every clear.

Riunia’s Twitter – @endstasis
Frosty’s Twitter – @FrostyTVstream

Everyone gathers together and waits for the signal. Their hands tremble in anticipation, strategies of multiple scenarios run through their minds. They know their role, think they’ll be ready for anything. Who can best the newest gauntlet first? Every party against the program, against the clock, against the world. The server comes online and everyone takes off. Who has the coordination, speed, and efficiency to claim the World First race.

A team that often had to settle for the bronze medal, Angered has triumphed against the odds (and oftentimes, the community) and claimed the prestigious honor of a World First clear.  Their sheer determination and dedication has given them the glory they have chased after for so long.  Now the underdogs turned world champions speak about their preparations and raiding experiences.

 

 

Please take this time to introduce yourselves!

(Kakashe Hatake) I’m Kakashe Leader of Angered FC. I have been playing MMOs for 10+ years and FFXIV was the first one I have led a FC in. I decide to attempt to lead a group that will enjoy whatever this game can offer to us. My experience in leadership was taken from being around Leaders on world of warcraft years before FFXIV was launched and learning the basics of how to lead a large group of players and guiding them to success. During the Binding Coil of Bahamut, I decided to start Angered FC and that was in October 2014 with the goal of one day achieving World First clear on progression. It took 1 year and 11 months of dedication and hard work to achieve this and I can’t be more proud of all the members that believed we will do it, and kept the faith in me and my management team to do all that is necessary in achieving a World First clear on the last boss of a raid content.

(Raffter Senpai) I’m Raffter, raid leader of the progression group and part of the Angered management team. I have participated in World First races in multiple games, such as FFXIV/WoW/Rift for about 7 years or so. I started to play FFXIV at the beginning of Heavensward and Alexander: The Creator was my first tier in this game as a hardcore raider. I have raided with the members in my group for about 6 months and have raided with our scholar Ayesa for multiple years in other games.

(Leith Noir) I’m Leith, Caster for Ston3. I’ve been with the group since the dark days of A4 savage and the FC itself for around 16 months. My background in gaming is mostly console based with FFXIV being my first MMO.

(Ayesa Faile) I’m Ayesa, the newest member of the raid team. I started playing FFXIV during Gordias, where my first raiding experience as a healer involved being dumped straight into A3 Savage. I joined the Ston3 team about two months before The Creator. While this was my first time pushing for World First in this game, I have previous experience of raiding at the highest level in Rift.

(Rize) I’m Rize, the ninja from this awesome group. Together with Quarion, I’m the oldest member of this group.

(Quarion Govinda) I play the game since Second Coil of Bahamut was released, I’ve changed many classes during this time, but now I am a ninja ready do my best for every progression content we face.  I’m an obsessive player, I play video games all day everyday. I enjoy it a lot, at least when there is something interesting and funny to play. I love challenges and learning new things. When I came to FFXIV first it was some weeks after 1.0 release yet, I bought a PC specifically to play it (I had Xbox 360 only and I was playing that all the time). I got bored of 1.0 really fast, and I basically forgot about the game for a while. I came back in 2.0 playing a lot, but with no idea what a raid was. It was my very first time going through an MMO. When I got to level 50, I was in a very casual Italian FC, and there was not spot for me to try T1.  I remember clearing in a few weeks and T2 pretty soon after. After clearing I decided to look for a serious raiding environment, so I was trying out different statics and FCs until I met Kakashe. We randomly met in a Second Coil raid which I don’t even remember all too well and when he was building Angered, I got called. I refused however due to real life priorities because I had too much work and I couldn’t play during their raid times. After the summer when I stopped working, I joined them and there’s been bumps on the road but it has been a great experience. Since I love challenges as I said before, I extremely love playing progression, especially for World First, but I get extremely bored of the game between patches. For those months I enjoy different games, and try to get personal achievements on those, or high ranks for competitive games like Overwatch.

(Wegente Leth) Hello, my in-game name is Wegente Leth and I’m currently the Dragoon for team Ston3. I can also play other classes, mainly the other two melees, but my favorite job is Bard. Rioszz pls. I have been part of the group for around six months. Before starting FFXIV, I played several other MMOs, the most notable being FFXI for more than 6 years. Avesta fan represent!

(Rioszz) Hi, My name is Rioszz and i play Bard/Machinist for the Team Ston3 of Angered. I only focus on both of these two classes at the moment, as either or in some terms even both of the classes are needed in every raid composition. My favorite class is definitely Bard, but I really enjoy playing both.  I joined the Team Ston3 about eight months into Alexander Midas, as the previous Bard/Machnist player was no longer with the team. Prior to this I was raiding with a more casual group of players on a server called Cerberus, but I was looking for a challenge which is why this opportunity was perfect for me.


How does it feel to be World First?

(Kakashe Hatake)  It feels great knowing that I have made the right choices & decisions in regards to choosing my officers and choosing the members of this group and supporting them with all the required support to make this clear. It also feels really great to actually see our FC get better results every tier, from Server First to Europe First to World First.

(Elia Sand)  Awesome! After getting several World Second and Third in previous patches, being first on a major content patch feels really good.

(Rize San) Well, I’ve done serious progression 3 times so far, and all during Heavensward. Compared to the others what I felt different is how you feel right after you kill a boss, and you know that no one did it before.  During A11s, we were pushing hard late at night until early in the morning, and how I felt when we killed it on our last pull was just insane.

(Ayesa Faile) The most gratifying part of this outcome is knowing that we performed up to the standard we set for ourselves. Every member of the team knew we were capable of seizing victory this time around, and managing to

(Leith Noir)  :Feelsgooodman:, knowing that all the hard work and preparation before the tier came to fruition.

(Rioszz Shan) I’m really happy to have gotten this far as a group. Since the Alexander Midas progression the whole team has gone through a couple of changes and since then all of us have put a lot of time and effort into making this happen.

(Raffter Senpai) Well, I am really proud of my team for their extensive hard-work and dedication in both preparing for the world race and actually achieving World First in this tier. As for myself, I am ecstatic at the results we attained. I am grateful that the team stuck out all the changes we made as a group before this tier started which were made to ensure the best possible progression we could have in Angered. FeelsGoodMan.

(Wegente Leth) It’s a great accomplishment, the result of months of training as a group in order to get better. But one can never stop improving, so… more deeps!

(Quarion Govinda) It feels great! I’m really proud of what we have done, and I’m happy to see that our efforts paid off. Although most of the community doesn’t care at all about raids and World First race, it’s beautiful to be known and supported by many raiders for our achievements. Unfortunately there are still people saying this tier was easy but I liked our competition with Elysium, and it’s only up to the few best groups to judge themselves and eventually come back stronger for the next patch.


What are your plans since you beat it?


(Kakashe Hatake)
  I will make sure that the mistakes that were done management wise on this tier will not be done again on the next raid content.  There is only one way for Angered and its getting better. We will also have a plan of a second group going very soon and most probably have 2 HC groups running side by side which will help in breaking down the mechanics even faster and work as a single team to achieve what was in the past something the EU community saw as a dream before Angered. For myself most of my work happens during farming times. Its too late to start thinking about it 1 week before progression.

(Elia Sand) Take it a bit easy while farming up gear to not get bored of the game and then start going for speed kills once we have best-in-slot gear.

(Rize San)  For now I guess me and my group will focus on getting us best-in-slot gear preparing for some speed kills and anything that might come before the new expansion.

(Ayesa Faile) I’m sure everyone will be looking to stay at the top of FFLogs rankings in the coming weeks, and we’ll most likely be pushing for speed kills once we’re all fully geared. Beyond that, I’m going back to fishing.

(Leith Noir)  My plans in game focus on 4.0 and the expansion raids and to compete for more World Firsts.

(Rioszz Shan) Staying up-to-date with any upcoming changes to the game, getting myself fully geared up as soon as possible and we’ll definitely be working on towards next progression tier.

(Raffter Senpai) Current plans are to just take it easy meanwhile we go through the gearing up process each week pretty much. We will definitely be pushing out the speed kills for this entire tier when the group is fully equipped and we will be working on improving the mistakes that happened this tier in preparation for next progression in 4.0.

(Wegente Leth)  Personally I will take it easy for a while and think about how to optimize my DPS in the new fights, so that when we have our Best-in-Slot gear we can start speed killing stuff once again. It’ll be fun this time around especially, with the DPS checks being as low as they are now. Who knows how many mechanics you’ll be able to skip completely.

(Quarion Govinda) Well, now we’re going to enjoy it, but we’re not going to take it easy. We need to keep improving, doing speed kills, and raiding to prepare for the next expansion.  After our FC got finally World First, we will hopefully get way more valuable applications to form strong groups, and become a bigger FC.


What did you struggle the most with inside and outside the game with progression or even with just the FC?


(Kakashe Hatake)
  I had built friendships with many players in FFXIV specially in Angered, and I have to say that sometimes I have to force myself to take decisions that might not be in the interest of that friend, however it is in the interest of the goal I’m trying to achieve with this FC. It’s mostly an internal struggle people don’t really know about and sometimes see my decisions being harsh or unreasonable, but it is something I have to take in order to continue getting better and closer to the achievements we want to get. Now am I always right? Of course not, but my main job is to make decisions. The wrong thing to do is not make any decision and wait and hope things get better by themselves.

(Rize San)  I have to be honest, during Gordias and Midas it was almost a pain to raid for more than 12h+ with certain people, but this time we raided 18h+ the first day and I could continue without any issue thanks to the friendship we built between each other on this raid group.

(Ayesa Faile) In all honesty, this tier went quite smoothly for us. I suppose the biggest issue we had was simply execution of our own strategy on A10S, which cost us World First on that floor. Our communication with our crafters was also a bit lacking and resulted in some pieces of gear being incorrectly melded.

(Leith Noir) Definitely had a bit of pre-patch anxiety and nerves but once we got into it that all faded away. Inside the game the only thing that troubles me is not enough cute lalafels in the group.

(Rioszz Shan) During our progression, we had very long days without much sleep. Due to this, I sometimes had a little trouble with being able to fully focus on the raid.  During our A12 Savage progression, I also had a moment come up where I was approached by my neighbors and the police, who hadn’t heard anything from me in the past 3 days.  They were banging on my front door thinking I had died or something had happened to me.

(Raffter Senpai) Our progression this tier included extensive long raid hours with absolute minimum breaks, the competition was so tight that we did not want to take any risks with long breaks and having more sleep than we actually needed. So problems existed towards the end of the night such as fatigue and lack of concentration – which is normal. Overall, this tier generally went good throughout and everyone was a pleasure to progress with.

(Wegente Leth) The progression was really short this time compared to the previous tiers so there weren’t many nuisances. But if I had to pick something, it would be the final push to clear the third turn, A11S, I was really tired and kept miscounting the numbers for the Final Cut mechanic; on top of that, we were adopting a strategy that required perfect execution with a very short time frame to react. It was a nightmare!    

(Quarion Govinda) I’m not sure honestly if we really struggled with anything, I mean, although Yoshi said this progression was going to be shorter, we still prepared ourselves for a 1-2 weeks race, which is way heavier to go through. I’d say we had some connection problems, nothing really relevant which cost us a couple of wipes in A12. We also got interrupted once because a party member’s neighbors thought he was dead or something, and called the police! Well after two days that’s exaggerated. Since we realized it was going to be a real quick progression, we didn’t sleep until we killed the third turn and some of us were really sleepy but we needed to go on until the clear and so we did. This progression was way smoother than expected, maybe because after the last two, I was used to having many discussions in party, or having someone not participating, while all of that kind of problems are usually caused by specific people in the group.

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(World First Alexander Creator Savage Turn 9 clear)


Was there any preparation all of you had to do before the race began?


(Kakashe Hatake)
  In terms of preparations there are many things that a group that will attempt to get a world First clear would need to do to even have a chance.  In terms of supplies many of the FC members helped with stocking the required potions, foods, materias, and materials. We took our time and spread the work over several months to be fully ready and not over work ourselves, we also bought it of the market board when it was really cheap in comparison to its usual price.

That was pre-patch but when the patch was launched we had a specific number of players that were chosen to focus on what the new food and potions had to offer us in case any of them were useful. Same goes for the delivery of crafted gear sets which are a priority over the new potions and food. After any crafted gear is ready, we have melders which their only job is to meld whatever gear is given to them.

(Raffter Senpai) In the months before 3.4 hit, we put a lot of emphasis on optimizing turns and putting out speed kills. This forced individuals to push their classes to the limits as well as learning them to adapt and re-make strategies which the guys were used to for many months. This provided to be beneficial for when we approached new fights. We went through a long process to finalize our progression roster to ensure all the players are completely satisfied with the performance and attitude level of the rest of the group members. The other form of preparation was handled by our GM Kakashe and our crafters to prepare all of the consumables, materia, and potential crafting materials which we would need for the moment patch 3.4 went live. As for IRL, it was simply just fixing my sleeping pattern to wake up at appropriate times.

(Elia Sand) We did a very optimized speed kill on A8s which took a long time but helped us build synergy after bringing in a new healer and generally damage/uptime optimization. We also stocked up on food/potions as well as materia while the prices were still low over the last few months.

(Rize San)  There are two types of preparations in this game in my opinion to prepare for a world race. The first is performance based, the group got ready for this by pushing ourselves at the max we could for speed kills, especially on A8s. The other type of preparation is for crafted gear, potions, foods and materia as soon as the patch was going be up, For this we have to thanks Kakashe, the Guild Master of our free company, that prepared a lot of food and potions for everyone depending on what we needed, and enough materia to fill all the crafted gear (still provided by him) and the first loot that we were getting.

(Ayesa Faile) The bulk of our preparation for this tier came from pushing ourselves to the limit in Midas Savage. In the weeks leading up to patch 3.4, we were in A8S most nights working on the fastest speed kill for the FFLogs record books. Our self-imposed requirements were harsh, and the optimization born from such an intense environment taught us numerous lessons about efficient play.

(Leith Noir)  As a group, most of our preparation for Creator came in the form of speed kills of the previous tier, most notably A8s.

(Rioszz Shan)  There have been several months of preparation going into the World First race inside and outside of the game.  This includes team synergy, crafting abilities, preparing materia, food & potions, but also taking time off of work and preparing enough food and drinks for the duration of progression.

(Wegente Leth) We spent several hours raiding together and practicing in the Midas turns to test our self-awareness and capability to adapt quickly to different tactics. Probably our greatest feat was to achieve the world’s fastest A8S run by skipping the Legislation in the first phase and the J-Storm at the end of the fight. We really looked up to the previous fastest run, done by the JP group RUSHERS, and did our best to beat what appeared to be unbeatable. Succeeding in that really boosted our motivation going into the new tier.

(Quarion Govinda) Our preparation was basically the months spent raiding with this party trying to push our limits and make new strategies based on speed kills. Basically we arrived to the patch with our minds set to do the best we could. Beside what we did as a party, before progression you want to make sure everything is working fine, you PC can’t leave you in the middle of the raid so if there are issues, it was the time to prepare and fix them. We also had the FC farming us potions, food, and materia before the patch, and crafters providing us new gear as soon as they could giving us a great help to get the hardest turns down. Well, in all of this don’t forget buying a ton of trash food you can simply heat up and eat on the fly, cause you don’t want to stop to have a proper meal while in the middle of progression, especially on the first day when you’re really close to do a World First.


How did you know this was the right team?


(Kakashe Hatake) 
 Angered’s main HC group have currently only two players that have not been replaced since its launch. That is Quarion and Rize. It is very hard to replace players from a main group of an FC, because it requires time to get used to each other’s reaction, stamina, intellect but also opens up a risk of things not working out. Taking the risk is better than depending on players that are not putting the effort of a World First group members. I was monitoring every player on that group since launch, and kept replacing the roster to the better until we ended up with the current roster.

To be able to build such a group you need to have a very sharp eye for talent and you must have great officers that will work with you towards the goal. My current officers Elia and Raffter are doing their part to the best expectations of any GM in FFXIV to provide the FC the best management offered by any FC and we always strive to get better. With this mentality and dedication, we knew that we are ready and will achieve our goal.

(Elia Sand) While we did the A8s speed kill everyone just noticed that the mentality of the raid was really good even on days with many mistakes. Everyone accepts criticism and does not take it personally which in my opinion is required to perform well during a progression patch.

(Raffter Senpai) Everybody in the group strives to be the best they possibly can which is the most important thing. They all put the effort to analyse logs of fights we were optimising for speed kills. The individuals in this group not only focus on improving themselves but also putting in time to help improve the others in the static. The static takes constructive criticism in the best possible way and they encourage it for them to improve as a player. After only 6 months raiding before patch with these guys i was rather confident in their skill and ability to perform, as for Ayesa I knew he would fit in well despite only being with the group about a month before this tier began. He and I have experienced achieving world 1st together in other MMOs and i was confident on his ability that he would fit perfect into this group.

(Rize San)  I’m in this team since the start of Gordias Progression, together with Quarion, I’m one of the oldest members of this group and what I noticed during Gordias and Midas was that if someone is not at level of the others everyone starts to feel annoyed by that guy. Right after Gordias, we made some changes and we got way better, but unfortunately there were not many good players available back then and I ended up to progress as DRK which I never played and made us lose a lot of time.

The last changes have been made after Midas A8s was down and after the first speed kills, it was a hard step to take, but we managed to remove some players that maybe were able to progress at world level, but unfortunately their attitude was inappropriate for any aspect of this game. After those changes, I looked back at the group and I knew it was the best group we could possibly have for this progression.

(Ayesa Faile)  Experience in other MMOs has taught me that with the right healers you can accomplish great things. Elia is one of the most intelligent and talented individuals I’ve ever worked with, and I was extremely comfortable with our synergy. Our damage dealers perform exceptionally well on FFLogs, and I can trust both Raffter (who I’ve known for several years) and Quarion to do what is required of them as tanks during progression even if it cuts into their personal damage.

(Leith Noir) I believe in and trust everyone in my team. Performances during farm content and the fun we have while doing it reaffirms why this is the right team for me.

(Rioszz Shan) When I joined the team halfway through Alexander Midas, i already knew some of the players inside the group as I had either previously raided with them or spoken to them in the past. Everyone in the group has a great mentality and are very enjoyable to work with as well as being very good at the game.

(Wegente Leth) I have always had a rough time trying to find seven other people with a mind set similar to mine and the same goal to improve and get better at the game. When we first started raiding together, I knew that there was potential in our group. After that, it was only a matter of organization and execution.

(Quarion Govinda) I have been here since Angered was still developing, and I saw many people coming in and out, for many reasons. In our first Hardcore progression (Alexander Gordias), I felt we had a strong team, but although we already were the group with most DPS in the world probably (I purely say it because of how close we were to get world 1st in A3, almost beating an impossible DPS check with a lower DPS setup, and everyone pinging over 120 due to NA servers only) we were lacking in mechanic understanding and in consistency, while we also didn’t have almost any team chemistry. Progressing through Midas showed a real improvement in our team, with new strong members and a better understanding of the game mechanics overall. Unluckily we had to progress in Midas with our actual NIN raiding as DRK for the first time, and we did welldespite that. Also in Midas, we had someone with a hand injury who was also an important part of the FC, and after talking between officers, they decided it was time to change something. We replaced that player and the raid started to look completely different. We finally had everyone listening and communicating, arguing became rare and whenever we did, it was more a productive discussion, which leads to people agreeing on something, rather than stop talking and being mad for the next hour. I won’t hide that I personally have pushed a few of our actual members to join us and our FC, since I already knew how good they were. Our team works because it’s really well balanced, on people working on mechanics, telling when to shut up or knowing when to joke, being a team, and not just trying to do the best as individuals.


Have any of you competed in the world first race prior to FFXIV or played in a competitive e-sport game?


(Kakashe Hatake) 
 My first ever raiding experience was on World of Warcraft, however I have been around many of the leaders of EU Guilds. I didn’t raid too much but was helping out on some of the background tasks that the team needed and was on direct contact with the managements of those guilds and their players. That was a long time ago though.

(Rize San)  I have played some World of Warcraft progression, but never aiming to World Firsts, or playing it hardcore.

(Ayesa Faile) Raffter and I came to FFXIV from Rift, where we had been doing World First raiding for a few years. Under the guild names of Special Olympics, Exploit, and Legit we took almost every EU or World First, and that is where I developed my passion for competitive raiding. I also dabbled in the raiding scene of SWTOR when it first launched, but I was disappointed by the number of bugs plaguing almost every encounter and Bioware’s lack of urgency in fixing them.

(Leith Noir) Quarion, Rize, Elia, and I competed in the race for the previous tier with Angered. When I think about competition, I hate to lose. So the loss in the previous tier spurred me on even more to try and win this time around.

(Rioszz Shan) I have not played in any competitive e-sport games before this. I was a very high ranked LoL player before I started playing FFXIV, and I have always been a very competitive person when it comes to competing with other players.

(Raffter Senpai) I used to play Rift where I was the leader of a guild called Special Olympics where I achieved World First across multiple tiers of content along with the scholar in my static in FFXIV, Ayesa.

(Wegente Leth) Not really, but I played FFXI for several years and I think the complexity of that game is the reason why I pay so much attention to details and optimization here in FFXIV.

(Quarion Govinda) I’ve never went competitive in any other game previously, even though I’m above the average on every one I play. In the last patches, we were going more for EU ranking than World, since we knew Elysium was currently better than us.


Did any one have to switch classes for this tier?


(Elia Sand)
 I switched from Scholar to White Mage about 1.5~ months before the patch hit. I only did one A5-A8s clear as Astrologian but I felt like it could outshine white mage on fights if some “conditions” are met. I was prepared to switch to Astrologian if the fights allowed it but after seeing the changes to Astrologian I decided not to go White Mage at all unless absolutely necessary. Looking at the fights now, it was a good decision and I might have gone Astro on A10/A12 even without the buffs but stayed white mage for A11 for comfort. A9 got killed so fast that I would’ve killed it as whatever I started with.

(Rize San)  We have considered few possible team compositions which have the AST replacing the WHM in case the AST was going get buffs (it got buffed).  We also considered Paladin along with a Monk instead of having Dark knight and Dragoon, but the only changes we have actually made was running AST for all the fights and a Paladin for the first and the second turn, but still without a Monk.

(Raffter Senpai)  As a group we prepared our “flex” classes for this tier, which were Paladin/Dark Knight, Black Mage/Summoner, White Mage/Astrologian, Monk/Dragoon, Machinist/Bard. However, the only class we actually altered for various turns were Paladin for SA9/SA10 and DRK for SA11/12. As for before the patch our previous Scholar Elia swapped to White Mage and Astrologian for our new Scholar, Ayesa, to join.

(Ayesa Faile) When I joined the raid team a couple months before patch 3.4, it required a job change from Scholar to White Mage for Elia. However once the preliminary patch notes were revealed, it was clear that Elia wouldn’t even be playing White Mage this tier – he’d be playing Astrologian.  Our prep work on that front was limited to just one or two weekly clears of Midas Savage with him running AST.

(Leith Noir)  While everyone in the group can play more than one class, the most notable change was Elia going from WHM to Astrologian. With the buffs to the cards and its extra mitigation, he and the group felt it would be superior and i believe we made the right choice.

(Rioszz Shan)  Our previous Scholar had to switch to playing White Mage & Astrologian, after some changes were made in the team. With this we recruited a new Scholar who has been with us ever since.

(Wegente Leth) The main change was for our WHM to switch to AST. It was kind of a leap of faith, due to all the hate and misconceptions on the AST class prior to this tier. But I think we managed to prove that if you know how to play the class properly and work on the synergy with your co-healer, it is completely viable.

(Quarion Govinda) Not really, I switched to Warrior long time ago, so it’s not my case.


How much time do you make to focus on the race?


(Kakashe Hatake) 
 I took leave for two weeks from work that started one week before patch hits and one week after. It is critical to make sure that the group and the players supporting it in terms of crafting and others are following the plan, and in case anything unplanned happens I am there to make it work one way or another.

(Elia Sand) I’m on break from university currently so I had up to three weeks if needed. However, I only prepared food (precooked and then frozen the day before the patch) for about 10 days.

(Raffter Senpai) We were prepared to have two weeks of hardcore raiding hours for this progression – around 16 hours per day, 7 days a week. However, only three days were needed.

(Rize San) We saved two weeks for hardcore raiding to aim to this world first.

(Ayesa Faile) I think everyone in the group had planned to take at least one week off for this raid tier.

(Leith Noir)  As a group we set aside two weeks for this tier, planning to raid roughly 16-18 hours a day. Though if we are close to a kill sleep is for the weak!

(Rioszz Shan)  Our whole group had made sure to have at least two weeks’ time to fully focus on progression.

(Wegente Leth) We try and take time off work for the first one or two weeks, while also minimizing our other real-life duties. This time the race was very short, personally I would have enjoyed it more had it lasted just a couple days longer similar to how long it took to clear the Final Coil of Bahamut. Nonetheless, it was a thrilling experience!

(Quarion Govinda) Well, preparation before the patch aside, during progression we raid for about 16 hours a day, which is really indicative cause if we feel we are close to get a kill we would go on until we clear it, and we could get to 20+ hours the first few days. After the first days of progression, we would take longer meal breaks but still going all day.


Do you record yourselves and review the footage after every wipe or do you just learn it as you go along?


(Elia Sand)
 Everyone except our Dark Knight – who had issues with the new Shadowplay – recorded their gameplay to review the fight, figure out mechanics and come up with ways of dealing with them efficiently.

(Raffter Senpai) I was the only one unable to use the Shadowplay function due to some technical issues, but the rest of the group recorded each pull to analyze the fight when we needed to take another look at certain mechanics to find a solution to pass them.

(Rize San) Yes, everyone uses the Shadowplay function to record themselves and check any possible details that we might have miss during a new mechanic.

(Ayesa Faile) We have almost everyone in the raid running nVidia Shadowplay. Getting a second look at new mechanics and being able to analyze player deaths or strategical failures is a necessity when it comes to making efficient use of time.

(Leith Noir) I record all wipes to review yes, gifs and screenshots from those recordings are invaluable while progressing a new fight.

(Rioszz Shan) During progression the whole team records almost every single wipe we have to either go over it as a team or to be able to look at your gameplay by yourselves to see where you can improve on.

(Wegente Leth) Most of us use recording tools to keep track of our progression, but we don’t really spend too long reviewing the footage in-between pulls; we try to react to things on the fly rather than waste time discussing about meaningless wipes. Of course, there are times when we really can’t figure out how a mechanic works; in that case we all stop for a while and analyze the recordings to see exactly what is going on in the fight.

(Quarion Govinda)  Recording the tries is essential to understand mechanics faster, it allows you to rewatch what just happened, read long debuff descriptions, and generally study the timing and functioning of a mechanic. Saving the time you would take to reach that mechanic again it’s great, although sometimes you need to physically do the mechanic again to understand better how it works, like how many combination of things can happen, and who is affected. Sometimes you need to see a mechanic two or three times to be sure you know what CAN happen each time on the same mechanic, and then you can work out a proper strategy which will always work.


How would you rank this tier compared to all the raids Square has released so far?


(Kakashe Hatake)
 I’m glad that there were no bugs such as A6s bug on last progression. However, I believe they made the fight mechanic heavy and good groups can clear the tier in one week.

(Elia Sand) I really liked the mechanics of the fights and think they were well designed but I think the damage requirements might have been a bit too low. While the incoming damage felt quite high, after seeing it once it was easily mitigated and could’ve been slightly higher as well to make it a bit more challenging.

(Raffter Senpai) This tier was well designed mechanically, and generally the fights are fun to play. However, I felt like the damage requirement was rather low considering we were able to skip mechanics in ilvl 240. Also, I felt some of the mechanics could’ve been more punishing when fails are made compared to what they actually are.

(Rize San) I would compare this tier to Final Coil of Bahamut, but with less DPS check. Yes, it’s true that FCoB got cleared in three more days that Alexander Creator, but back then there was no CD reset, which made a lot of difference in this progression regarding first clears speed.

(Ayesa Faile) I can only fairly compare this tier to the other Alexander ones, as I started playing after release of Heavensward. My knowledge of Coil is sketchy at best and stems largely from unsynced runs.

The Creator has well-designed encounters out of any of the Alexander tiers, and on this merit, I think it is the tier that will be most fondly remembered from Heavensward. The mechanics of each fight gel together in a natural way and no element feels tacked on simply to inflate the difficulty level. As a result every boss is *fun*, which hasn’t been the case in the past. The Manipulator (A4S) and Quickthinx Allthoughts (A7S), for example, felt like chores each week in their respective tiers.

On the other hand The Creator is also the tier that is the least punishing towards poor individual play. DPS checks are lenient even in entry-level gear and player deaths are far less detrimental than they were in Midas or Gordias. The longevity of this tier for the top end of the raiding scene is somewhat questionable, as once players are decked out in 270 gear these bosses will melt so fast they’ll barely have time to do any of their mechanics. However, this leniency also makes The Creator the most accessible raid tier, and hopefully it will draw in players whose groups stalled in Gordias or Midas, or those who have yet to even try raiding in FFXIV.

(Leith Noir)  Visually, I think this tier looked great, it definitely gave me a Coil vibe. Mechanics were interesting and fun to figure out, but DPS checks were virtually non-existent even in i250.

(Rioszz Shan)  This raid tier has been amazing in the way they have set up the individual raid tiers and have made it enjoyable for everyone in the game.  Although you can argue that it may have been a little too easy, since the entire raid tier was cleared within two days.

(Wegente Leth) I think this tier sits around the middle in the list of my favorite raids in this game. I still think Midas was a far more interesting raid tier, especially considering the first, second and last turns. But my favorite raid to this day remains the Second Coil of Bahamut (Savage), with T7S and T9S being extremely fun and difficult encounters, and T8S being my favorite fight in the game.

(Quarion Govinda) Many people think this tier is the easiest ever. Honestly many Coil turns, and some Alexander ones as well, were way easier than these when you look at mechanics. This tier surely have the lowest DPS checks we have ever seen and having people dying is often not a problem. But this tier has new different mechanics, which are less explicit than old ones, and require more work on strategies. This tier being overall easier than previous ones, doesn’t really affect the race, which is even more frenetic, having the best groups clearing the turns quickly, and always feeling like you can get or lose a World First every pull. Whoever does hardcore progression does not enjoy this tier any less than others, while midcore or casual players will have guides and videos, and basically will have to simply execute what they saw in a video, losing the fun part of learning everything of the fight. I’m sure this tier requires a higher DPS check, cause after you actually clear the fight and you know everything, there is really nothing making the fight still interesting (you actually start skipping half the fight because of too much DPS >.>).

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Was there something in the past tier that you would have liked to see in Creator?


(Kakashe Hatake)
  Ston3 is one of the best, if not the best group on DPS checks. We believe that if there was a high DPS check we will have a higher advantage than other groups who do not have the same DPS training as we do on that group.

(Elia Sand) Slightly higher DPS checks. A fight like A3S that requires perfect DPS, mitigation and healing would’ve been nice in my opinion.

(Raffter Senpai) It would of been nice if the fights had higher DPS checks, fights similar to SA3 would of been really great, especially since our group is extremely skilled in pulling out top tier DPS. The majority of the mechanics they implemented this tier was on the whole great and I believe with a slight increase in DPS tuning this would be the best tier by far.

(Rize San) To be honest I’ve expected something like “nisi” mechanic to be coming on the last boss, since it was like the diving bomb mechanics that was appearing in every last boss in “A Realm Reborn”, but other than that I’ve not really wished for anything, and I’m happy with all the mechanics that went out on every turn of “Alexander: The Creator”

(Ayesa Faile)  If I say “another A3S” will that make people hate me? 😛

As someone who really enjoys being pushed to the limit, I wouldn’t have minded seeing one fight with more strenuous DPS or healing checks, or one where deaths are punished more heavily. However I can also respect that such design decisions alienate less hardcore groups, and ultimately the most enjoyable part of progression is always discovering and solving the new puzzles posed by the mechanics of each fight. On that front, The Creator has been an excellent raid tier.

(Leith Noir) I would of just liked to see a tighter check in DPS, though I understand they want to make the raids more accessible. Hopefully looking to 4.0 we can get a 3 tier system and have fights more akin to A3 savage.

(Rioszz Shan)  The only thing i disliked with Creator was that the progression for this tier lasted only two days. In my opinion this could have taken a little longer, if the difficulty would’ve been upt just a little bit.

(Wegente Leth) Yes: the DPS checks. I feel that the complete absence of DPS checks is dangerous for the balance of the raid.  For a DPS, and arguably this goes for the healers and tanks as well, there are two things you have to do in a raid: push as much DPS as you can while executing mechanics properly.  But if you remove the DPS checks, then the mechanics become meaningless as well, because you can just die to them, or “sac” yourself, get revived and keep going. All this without any penalty at all.

As an example, there has been a group on our server that cleared the second turn, A10S, with full i240 gear on the second day with 13 deaths. Said group clearly still needed to work a lot on the mechanics of the fight. Still, just by reviving the people who failed them, they managed to clear it. What sense of accomplishment can there be in a meaningless victory like that?

(Quarion Govinda) Twintania Divebombs (jk) Not really, the best for every tier is to be completely innovative every time. The more the fights are different, the more we have to discover, and this is cool.


Since you beat the raid so quickly, do you feel like the difficulty was lacking in Creator as a whole or did you feel like it was tuned correctly?


(Elia Sand) 
The mechanics felt really nice and not just mashed together like in previous content. Once they were figured out there usually was a consistent way of dealing with them that did not have big RNG/timing elements tied to it (boulders A7s or brawler mechanics A8s, push timings T7s). In previous tiers however, while running low item level gear at least, a lot of coordination from the healers and the tanks was usually required to mitigate incoming damage (A3s, A4s) while still pushing healer and tank DPS. While I do think that the Nisi mechanic in A4s was “badly designed”, A3s was in my opinion the perfect fight to show how efficient your healers can be, how much DPS they could squeeze in and it allowed the groups that excelled in those aspects to be slightly ahead of other groups.

Compared to that, I was surprised how freely I could DPS for the most part even though I was the “main-healer” of the group. After a few raid members watched my videos from our first kills they were also surprised how much time, and mana, I actually spent in cleric stance. So in my opinion the numbers should be tuned for a slightly higher item level but generally the fight mechanics were fine.

(Leith Noir) While the overall difficulty of the tier certainly felt toned down from the previous ones, the same sense of accomplishment from figuring out the mechanics first remains, and will always be the most enjoyable part of raiding for me personally.

(Raffter Senpai) The mechanics generally were fine, some took a lot of thought to figure out but as a whole they just were not punishing enough if people died. The difficulty did feel easier than the previous tiers. Individual mistakes could be made and recovered from due to the lack of raid wide wipe mechanics and damage checks.

(Ayesa Faile) The difference in difficulty stems purely from the lack of raid-wide punishment for a single player’s error. Players familiar with A4S, A7S and A8S will recall these bosses gaining Damage Up stacks for player deaths that invariably resulted in raid wipes.

(Quarion Govinda)  As probably most of us think, giving this tier Midas DPS checks would have made it the best tuned tier in a long time, even though sadly that didn’t happen, the fights were really enjoyable, especially A11 and A12, while A9 was a joke (too easy DPS check, I enjoyed wiping more on A9 normal than Savage lol) and A10 was pretty interesting. Still I don’t know if players figured out how much time the cooldowns reset is saving us now, cause I don’t think this tier would have taken much shorter than Final Coil, which was less permissive but also easier to understand. So difficulty mechanics-wise it’s really good, but if you get one or two deaths in progression the first week, you can’t be far from enrage yet, especially in Turns 3 and 4.

(Wegente Leth) The difficulty was definitely toned down compared to last tier, both mechanically and DPS-checks wise. Encounters and their mechanics were for the most part straight-forward, with Inception in A12S probably being the only exception. This time around I really missed the struggle of trying to figure out cryptic mechanics such as Hand of Pain, Nisi or Blinder.


Europe had its own data center this time around for Creator Savage. Was this the difference for all of you?  Did your team feel like you were finally competing on equal ground since you don’t have to play on other data centers?


(Elia Sand) 
Being a healer, I never had too many oGCD abilities I had to cast during my GCDs so it did not actually affect my damage/healing a lot. I just had to time my heals differently but it definitely feels a lot smoother now. The biggest issue, which affects everyone, was reacting to certain abilities. Some clutch/split second dodges I can perform now would never have been possible without the new data center and it definitely made the game feel smoother. However, the fights in this game are mostly scripted to an extent and if you know what mechanic is coming next, you will be able to react even if your ping is slightly higher. Our DPS might’ve been slightly lower but I do not think we would’ve had a considerable drop in performance without the data center.

(Leith Noir) Having the data center and lower ping is nice to have, but I don’t think it was that big of a contributing factor. I just think groups in EU were not as strong or well prepared in the previous tiers.

(Raffter Senpai) The data center does help a lot in the sense of my class specifically required a lot of double-weaved off-GCDs, which allows me to be able to push my damage even further. However, in regards to the mechanics this tier there was not a lot of passing debuffs between players in a short period of time like SA3 had, therefore, the data centre would not have been that impactful this tier. However, it does definitely help. I also believe this is the first time there was an EU group strong enough to compete for world 1st, so the data centre should not be main reason why EU can now compete.

(Ayesa Faile) The biggest difference that the EU data centre made was for “pass” mechanics, such as the Digititus debuff and Drainage tethers in A3S. These types of abilities were not hugely prevalent in The Creator, so at most we enjoyed easier double weaving of off-GCDs and having slightly longer to dodge out of AoEs.

(Quarion Govinda) We have had EU data centers for Midas as well, and we saw there it didn’t help a lot.  We have been complaining for ever that we had that high ping all the time.  The reality is having an higher ping is bad because you can’t double-weave OGCD so you need to understand the weird timings to dodge or execute some mechanics, and it generally makes the game feel less smooth, and it does slightly decrease DPS. Not a big deal at the end of the day, I think EM had 2 or 3 EU players for most of their World First, this is kind of a proof it doesn’t really matter. There is enough difference between having 20-30 and 110-140 ping to have to re-learn game timings, so it’s mostly a personal difference than something which makes you directly worse. I met players with extremely high ping (around 200-300) way better than average raiders with normal ping, so again, it affects your personal experience with the game, rather than making you worse.

(Wegente Leth) To be honest, I don’t really think the data centers make such a big impact on progressions. If on one hand having the data center close to where you live definitely improves your DPS especially if you play fast-paced classes such as NIN or DRG, on the other hand having a slightly higher latency shouldn’t prevent you from executing (most) mechanics correctly. There are a few exceptions to this, such as the debuff exchange in A3S after the Wash Away mechanic: having lower latency there definitely helped a lot and made the game feel much smoother.


For the raid itself, how much did you use the best-in-slot Midan equipment and when did you realize that you had to get better gear?


(Elia Sand) 
We did the normal mode in our Midan gear and took a few i250 pieces from normal mode but we did not want to run it repeatedly to get gear because we knew that figuring out the fights is more important and we had crafted gear coming sooner or later. We killed A9s with only those few pieces and then went to A10s. Shortly before we killed A10s we received a few crafted pieces of gear but that was it. A11s progression took a while longer so after every instance (90 minutes) a few more pieces were ready so we took those whenever we left the instance but did not go out of our way to get it because neither damage nor health were the causes of our wipes. When we started A12s progression the next day we had full i250 crafted gear and killed it with that.

(Leith Noir)  A9 everybody was in the best-in-slot Midan gear with a couple of Creator NM drops, then as we went into A10 crafted gear was gradually distributed throughout the group up to the point where towards the end of 11 everybody was near full crafted. Then in A12 everybody was full crafted with an i250 weapon.

(Raffter Senpai) We cleared SA9/10 in our BiS Midan gear mostly, and getting most of our pieces by the end of SA11. However, the gear is not necessary at all, as a tank i’ve also cleared SA9-12 in full ilvl 240. This tier is honestly not really a gear check at all, obviously it makes it easier, but it is not needed.

(Ayesa Faile) Honestly, the entire raid tier is probably do-able in full Midan best-in-slot. At no point did we specifically think that we needed better gear, but we already had crafters employed providing us with bits and pieces of i250 gear between instances.

(Quarion Govinda) We were ready for the patch, we knew that if I240 gear wasn’t enough, we would have got gear when needed. We know we have a great synergy and we optimize the best we can, therefore we knew if a gear barrier would have blocked us somewhere, it would happen to the others too, and having the new crafted I250 gear ASAP was kind of a priority for our crafters. When we needed it, for A11 and A12, most of us were really well geared, and we progressed really smoothly even though we didn’t get many useful drops like best-in-slot DPS gear. Without I250 gear, I think it would have been still doable, but really hard due to HP checks.

(Wegente Leth) Our crafters were working hard while we were tackling the first two turns, handing us some of the gear they made in the brief moments we were outside the raid instance. It was, however, on A11S, where we got most of our crafted gear done. To be honest we never felt it was absolutely needed, but it definitely helped to have higher DPS and more importantly higher HP pools and defense stats on our gear.

 


When Team Victorious Secret took A10 Savage, did you feel “behind”? Did you feel like you absolutely had to take A11s to have a shot at winning the tier?


(Elia Sand) 
I definitely took it as a big blow. Some people look at it and say “we fell 27 minutes behind on A10s” but the truth is: We fell 75 minutes behind because we were 48 minutes ahead on A9s (compared to VS – 38 compared to Solitude). We spent a total of 4 hours and 53 minutes on A10s while VS only spent 3 hours 38 on it. Which means we spent 34% more time on it than they did – or they spent 26% less on it than we did. Whichever way around you look at it, that is not something you want to see.

While I did think those things and probably others in the group as well, we decided not to talk about it. We did have some inconsistencies executing certain mechanics. Everyone knew exactly what went wrong. There was no need to blame people or discuss what happened – we just had to slap ourselves and continue strong. And so we gave it our best until A11s was down and at least I definitely felt that we weren’t “only” in the race but at the front again.

(Leith Noir) At no point in the race did I feel we were behind, there were some execution issues on A10 but I always thought we would be strong enough to power through.

(Raffter Senpai) To be honest, i figured that SA9 + SA10 would be a free-for-all to get world 1st on as the difficulty would (and was not) hard at all. I expected my group to pull ahead by SA11 and SA12 where fights require more emphasis on specific strategy and optimization rather than a “faceroll”. It was disappointing to lose the world 1st on SA10, but simply the reason for it is we failed a lot on executing the strategy we implemented, it should have died several hours before it did.

(Ayesa Faile) Coming into the race, we all agreed that the first two turns were anyone’s game. That’s not to say any of us were pleased to hear that Elysium had beaten us to a kill on A10S, but it wasn’t a huge shock. That being said, I think it caused us to double-down on our efforts and focus harder on concentration as we moved into A11S. No one wanted to go to sleep before that boss was dead, and the thought that we were behind really pushed us to perform there despite how tired we all were.

(Quarion Govinda) When I knew they cleared it before us I wasn’t honestly worrying much for the later turns rather than taking it as an incentive to do better in A11. We did mess up in that turn and we know it, we were really slow compared to EM in A10 because we wasted more than 90 minutes wiping without a real reason to discuss about. Just lacking in consistency probably, we just needed to focus more and get it down once for all, and we did it, too late though. It didn’t happen in the later turns, and maybe this gave us something more to fight for. Sure we knew we had to catch up with EM.

(Wegente Leth)  I would be lying if I said it didn’t affect my mind and my performance on A11S at all.  At first I was a bit tilted, but then I tried my best to grit my teeth and keep going without thinking about it too much. I knew that the time gap between our teams wasn’t that big and if we worked hard we could get back on top again.


Since you are all done with the raid, what challenges await you now?


(Kakashe Hatake)
  Preparation for the next raid content and building a second stable HC group are the 2 things we will be focusing on. Many would think “isn’t it early to start preparing?” and the answer to that is simply preparation goes through many phases such as placing what goals we want to have next progression and spread out all the work within the timeframe given. It is much easier to do a little everyday than work hard the last month to catch up.

(Elia Sand) The biggest challenge for some people will probably not to get bored of the game until the next big content patch, which will most likely be 8-9~ months from now. But at the same time we can’t lose our competitiveness so we will compete for speed runs on FFlogs once we have sufficient gear. Another goal or challenge, not for our group, but the free company, would be to build a second group which can compete with us and challenge us from the inside while also providing more people to theorycraft after the expansion and come up with new rotations etc..

(Leith Noir) The next challenge will be speed kills and possibly FFlogs challenges for the new tier. Looking further into the future though we will be focused on preparing as a group and FC for the expansion.

(Raffter Senpai) We strive to achieve the #1 rank on speed kills for all the fights this tier, and of course to compete on the famous FF(Astro)logs. We will try to improve on the mistakes we made this tier to be even stronger next tier.

(Ayesa Faile) Big Fishing. And maybe FFLogs leaderboards.

(Quarion Govinda) Well, now we are going to mostly chill out for some weeks getting new gear and completing our best-in-slot. After that, it’s going be time for speed kills and speed kills and speed kills. I really hope Yoshi brings us more content for raiders before the expansion, because it’s going be a long time. Meanwhile we need to prepare for the expansion by recruiting new players, forming a second hardcore group, and farming tons of gil since it’s probably going be one of the few valuable things after the expansion. Level cap is going be raised, we will have all new gear, possibly new materia, and of course new crafting materials, so there is nothing really worth to farm before the expansion comes rather than gil. I will mostly enjoy other games for these coming months.

(Wegente Leth) We’ll definitely be competing against the other groups that want to be involved in speed kills which is a really thrilling challenge even more so than progression itself sometimes. As for myself, I’ll try to improve on other jobs that I play less frequently, such as MCH and MNK. Who knows, maybe they will be needed in Stormblood!


Do you think Square should use Creator Savage as a base for all raids in the future?


(Elia Sand) 
Whichever team they had creating the mechanics in this tier should definitely do more tiers in the future. The overall tuning could be changed in my opinion or maybe a fifth boss would be perfect. A mix between Creator and Midas might also be very nice. Midas damage tuning – and some of the Midas mechanics were also very good in my opinion – and mechanic design from Creator. These mechanics this time just felt like they were meant to be this way whereas sometimes it feels like the developer team just added a few more mechanics after they were already done which then feel out of place.

(Raffter Senpai) I hope SE take the feedback from this tier (the mechanics being well designed) but putting more emphasis on DPS checks and making mechanics more punishing. If they would to be able to make a tier on that basis, then players will have a lot to look forward to on the future tiers.

(Leith Noir > I think they already had a similar base to this tier with how Binding Coil was in ARR, this kind of difficulty i think would be ideal for the mid-tier raid. Hopefully in the expansion we can get this and it will keep all types of players happy.

(Ayesa Faile) I think Square have learned a lot from the different tiers of Alexander. I don’t want to see the next raid be the same as The Creator because I think they overshot the sweet spot between accessibility and difficulty, but the mechanic design this tier has been the strongest of all offerings in Heavensward. If they can provide a level of difficulty closer to Midas with the design of Creator, I think that would be an ideal scenario for the FFXIV raiding community.

(Rize) I think this raid difficulty was a really good base to make something that everyone will like, it reminds me a lot the FCoB progression, which had the difference to punish a bit more mistakes and also make it a wipe also after deaths because of the damage check. I’ll be really happy with the same raid difficulty but with higher damage checks that make the optimization of the group even better and have quality players for a progression group.

(Quarion Govinda) I know nothing about developing fights, and I don’t know how much you can take from a tier to inspire another without making it clearly the same thing. We have been joking in progression about A11 being Ravana Savage and sometimes A12 being T13 reskinned. The only base they should find and hold is probably the difficulty range. They must find a gear and DPS check that allows best group to clear turns in the first week with good to perfect execution while it becomes easier when over-geared and still hard on mechanics. Probably what they should as a base from this tier for the next ones, is how mistakes are punished. If you mess up, you get a stack and if you mess up too many times, you are going to die. This makes fights easy when overgeared and keeps them hard in progression, where if you have a higher DPS check, failing and dying leads to a wipe. I think it’s really good they removed the “1 death=1 stack on the boss” thing that made A4, A7 and A8 so annoying.  Another Creator with higher DPS check would be perfect, so yes, I think they must keep going in this direction.

(Wegente Leth) I hope to see less straight-forward mechanics in the future raids, since even though Creator was a really fun raid to clear, figuring out what to do took less time than I would expect. I also hope that they introduce harder DPS checks again. One thing I would like to see them do is increase the item level gap between the previous tier and the next one so that hardcore groups can have a challenge for the first few weeks in lower item levels and then let the midcore groups catch up when they start gearing up with the weekly tome stone gear.


For the people who want to raid, what advice would you give them?


(Kakashe Hatake)
  If a player wants to raid, they must know exactly what they want. There are many types of raiding groups out there. Some are long hours and others are short. Regardless of what you want as a raider, you must clearly know what type of group you want to be in. After that you must search and do your best to be accepted into the group..

(Elia Sand) Self-criticism and the will to improve. Never think you play perfect. You might’ve done a few things well but no one ever does everything perfect. I can look back at videos of myself playing from a few months, even weeks ago and I’ll notice many mistakes instantly.

Record yourself, try to spot mistakes and correct them. Try to get rid of bad habits as soon as you see them. And most importantly: Accept criticism from others. Don’t take it personally, don’t take it as an insult just try to accept it and improve. Also, don’t be afraid of “stealing tricks” from other people. Learn to read FFlogs and see what other people do and compare it to what you do.

Extra tip for healers out there: You HAVE to understand the abilities your co-healer has if you want to excel. Playing the job is most likely the easiest way to do that. Learning what mitigation tools tanks have and how they work is also very important.

(Leith Noir) Practice, practice, practice your class, know your rotation without even thinking both AOE and single target. Look for a group that meets your goals and just have a go, raiding is probably in my opinion the best thing to do in this game.

(Raffter Senpai) Simply practice as much as possible, compare your FFlogs for cooldown management, openers and rotations with some of the well-known players of your class and try to learn from them. Once you get on the same level with those currently at the top then you will be knowledgeable enough to try surpass them. You need to be open to all criticism that is thrown in your direction to be able to self-improve. It doesn’t matter if you are not the best player of your class in the world, as long as you show a positive attitude to improve and be a good team player, most groups will be wanting to pick you up. Set yourself goals and try achieve them.

(Ayesa Faile)  Reflect on your own play after every raid. Strive for self-improvement and remain open to criticism, however harsh it may be when you receive it. Never let your temper get the better of you.

(Rize)  Many times I go help out group in party finders with one chest kills, and the biggest advice I can give to all of them, and to all the people that want to start raiding is this:
“Be Ready to don’t panic, talk to each other, and be cold blooded when it comes to be close to a kill. You can do it, same way as we did”

(Quarion Govinda) To be a raider there is something you need to understand, or you will never be efficient doing it: You have to be the first one who wants to improve themselves. You must completely understand how the game works, the CDs, the timings, you need to have knowledge of the game, and it comes by itself when you are in raiders’ environment.  Every time someone tells you how to do something, even though you might not like it, consider it, take in consideration everything people tell you, elaborate all the information you get, understand what to change and what not, where you have to improve, and never get offended by criticisms and suggestions. When a teammates is telling you something, they are not saying you are bad, they just want to make sure you are successful. That’s why is also really important to have a whole team with people friendly to each other. You can’t raid with someone you or other party members don’t like, especially if this person or people are toxic. This is surely not going work, cause if people in raid are afraid to say things because someone could get offended, or worse if he says it and the guy gets mad, this is really bad for the group, and it’s something that breaks groups apart.

(Wegente Leth)  If you’re are not satisfied with your group, think about what you could be doing better instead of putting the blame only on your team. Self-criticism is the first step towards improvement. Also, if you find someone that outputs higher DPS than you, question yourself on the reason instead of coming up with excuses. Is it because of their group composition? Do they have better gear? Or are they straight-up better at playing the class? Remember: 5-item level difference on a weapon doesn’t make up for 300 DPS.


Before we close, are there any parting thoughts you all have?


(Kakashe Hatake)
  I would like to thank you Geno for this invitation to share our thoughts to the community. You have been a great supporter of FFXIV community and I wish you all the best.

(Leith Noir) “If I remove Cure 3 from my bar will I get more Ston3 :thinking:” and “Hi I’m Rioszz Shan, you might know me from the top of FFlogs”.

(Quarion Govinda) Don’t judge other people while they play! I’ve been insulted many times because I was distracted or messing up in dungeons. Don’t judge please. Who knows if the guy who you think is bad, is actually just high as I usually am. Don’t judge, just roll.


Time for shoutouts!


(Kakashe Hatake)  
Angered FC Members , Supporters & Sponsors.  Angered Workshop FC for the awesome crafting support.  Master Melder “Eumi Iniya”.  Ragnarok Server Community & All who believed in us.  MTQCapture & all the guide makers in FFXIV.  Frosty TV for the awesome interview and tracking of the world race.

(Elia Sand)  Big shoutout to all the people from the old Exordium FC from Phoenix. That’s where I learned how to play properly while losing most of my sanity tackling Second Coil Savage.

Special shoutout to Rydie for being around and being the best social a FC can have! \o/

(Leith Noir) Angered FC, Ifa and his minions, Rioszz Shan from FFlogs, The Balance Card. Jank “The Pentacle Destroyer” Orion. Fretty Wap, All the Groups who took part in the World First race good luck in the expansion!

(Ayesa Faile) Eumi for her melding dedication, Nexume for stealing all my memes, Queen Etna for never listening to me, Solar for her dedication to glamours, and Whitelady and anyone else who knows me from Rift.

(Raffter Senpai)  Angered FC Members, Supporters & Sponsors.  Team “Ifalna Shu” for your amazing crafting skills and speed.  Master Melder “Eumi Iniya” for all your hard work supporting my team.  Dark Knight Bros: “Voxfall Valerie (Elysium – Gilgamesh)” : “Shinzee Kun (DSIS – Lich)”  Loredana, Guy, Katie and Conrad for all the fun times.

(Rize)  Angered FC, Together with Sponsors.  The Crafting Team, for the effort they put in this race.  The Italians cheering for us during the race.

(Quarion Govinda)  All Angered FC, Members, Sponsors, and our supporters.  A big shoutout for our crafters which work really hard to get us gear as fast as possible.  And don’t forget the partners and everyone who actually have been believing in us.  Thank you all for contributing in making this!

(Wegente Leth)  Angered FC, sponsors and supporters across the world!  All the hardcore groups out there competing in the World First race.  Ragnarok Server for being the best raiding community in Europe, in the hope we can grow even more.  All the people I met on FFXIV, especially the Italians and those in the infamous “Ungil” linkshell.

Special shoutouts to Momo Sama/Tan/Kun/whatever from Gilgamesh and Meythia Yasuki from Phoenix for motivating me to improve.


Congratulations again!  It was a fun race to follow and I wish best of luck in Stormblood.

For my twitter, you can follow me @GenoCast

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