Famfrit Raiding – Interview with Phoenix Group

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Introduce yourselves!

(Flara Starburst) Hello! I’m Flara Starburst and I’ve been playing FFXIV since about a week before the 1 year anniversary event. I vaguely remember having a leaf next to my name as I flailed about learning the game around then.

(Ahri) Hi I’m Ahri I get carried by Fang

(Auri Kiwi) Hello my name is Auri Kiwi, I’ve been on famfrit since day one that this game came out. Had a few name changes though… My original name was Aurelia Goldnight. I’ve started playing Warrior seriously during midas prog. (I was away from the game during most of gordias because my team disbanded after a2s.)

(Mike Zulu) I’m Mike Zulu, I have been raiding since second coil of Bahamut. Was a warrior main but, switched to dark knight at the end of Midas.

(Relicus Ashborne) Heyo My name is Relicus Ashborne and I throw Fire IVs and beg for foes in Phoenix Group.

(Montgraves D’Ambrosia) I’m Montgraves D’Ambrosia; people call me Monty. I’m the trick attack for the group.

(Flyan Fang) I’m Flyan Fang and I’m the scholar of the team. I have been playing mmorpgs for years and I started playing FFXIV in Dec. 2015. I started raiding from 5s.

(Ethereal Nijix) Hi. I’m Ethereal Nijix from Famfrit. I go by Nijix.

Now that you have beaten all of Creator Savage, what will you do now?

(Flara) We’ve been investing our spare raid nights towards speed runs and optimization. It’s been a great learning experience to have a chance to pick apart where, when and why things may be better. We didn’t have that luxury last tier.

(Ahri) I probably will spend most of my free time I allot for bideo geims on League of Lurrdurr, BF1, and Overman, and probably weeb out more than I could for the last year of endless prog I have ended up doing lmao.

(Auri Kiwi) I would like to keep farming it until we all get our BiS gear. I also have alot of interest in speed runs, push our group synergy to the max.

(Mike Zulu) I am most interested in speedkills and optimizing the fights on a group level. I would say I enjoy that more then progression.

(Relicus Ashborne) Been spending it on FF15

(Montgraves D’Ambrosia) Play Battlefield 1 until my eyes bleed. I also picked up Planetside 2 like a week ago. Much enjoyment is being had with those two games.

(Flyan Fang) Parse runs and irl things I guess?

(Ethereal Nijix) We’ll just be doing our weekly clears and speed runs when we have the time.

How long have all of you been raiding together for?

(Flara) I’ve been with the Phoenix Group since middle of last tier, give or take. I had seen a PF up for a5s weekly for a ranged with a possibility for it to be a tryout. I joined the PF with the intent to sub but was offered the spot at the end of the night. I was in another group at the time but the hours with them just didn’t line up as well for me as G0’s did so I eventually accepted the offer.

(Ahri) This is actually quite a harder question than it originally appears due to all the member changes and even the leader change it went under before I took over. If I speak to the group proper as it appears now, I would say it has been together effectively since early July. Our old goon Zeeb Khah elected to join an old friend and so we mutually parted ways (but stay active with each other) with him and brought in Nijix.

(Auri Kiwi) Well I’m kind of a new member in this group but I believe I joined back in June during Midas prog

(Mike Zulu) Well, I have been raiding with Montgraves D’ambroisa for as long as I have been raiding. The rest were slowly added to the raid group one by one thorugh replacements.

(Relicus Ashborne) This is a complicated question because all of us joined this group at different times. Ive been raiding with Ahri(AST), Monty(NIN), and Mike(DRK) since the middle of Gordias. Flara(BRD/MCH), Flyan(SCH), joined us in the beginning of Midas and Auri(WAR) joined us near the end of it. Nijix(MNK/DRG) joined us for the start of Creator.

(Montgraves D’Ambrosia) If I were to regale you with the entire, unfortunate, dysfunctional history of our raid group, by the time I finish patch 5.0 would be releasing, so I’ll just list when the current members of the group joined. Mike and I have been raiding together since T6-9. When Heavensward dropped, Ahri joined us for AS1, Reli joined us for AS3, Flara showed up during AS6, Flyan popped in for AS7, Kiwi joined right after we downed AS7, and Nijix is our most recent addition and has helped us not stumble all over ourselves since AS9.

(Flyan Fang) I joined the team in June 2016

(Ethereal Nijix) I joined the group on the last week of Midas right before Creator was about to drop, so I haven’t been a part of the group for as long as some of the other members.

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How did all of you come together and how did you know it was the right fit?

(Flara) We had several member changes throughout last tier and a final change as we entered into this raid tier when we added on Nijix after Zeeb stepped out to raid with some friends. There’s always a learning curve while a group adjusts to running with a new member, but I feel it’s all been taken in stride quite well and believe the static flows rather smoothly.

(Ahri) I suppose at this point I tl;dr as much of the group formation as I humanly can. Monty and Mike were part of the original 8, they brought me as a WHM as fresh blood at the onset of Gordias, we reformed under Mighty Alrighty’s command and brought in Reli, I switched to AST at the end of Gordias, Mighty stepped down as leader during A6S prog and I took over, Flara was my first recruit, then I brought in Fang and shortly after acquired Kiwi, and at the start of this tier we got Nijix. All in all since I have taken leadership I found it my duty to limit the amount of fluctuation of members and took the recrutiing trail rather seriously and thoroughly, and now half the group has been formed under my hand. From that rigorous recruiting I was able to consistently find high-quality players who also meshed really well with the atmosphere we have worked hard as a group to form. I personally never actually knew this group was “the right fit” for me until after A8S prog was coming to a close, and definitely at this stage it is in a super healthy and quality iteration of itself. But many groups from out of server actually tried to recruit me starting at the end of Gordias, and the offers at the time seemed super tempting. But I cut my teeth on this group working out, and I can confidently state it was the correct course of action. /essay

(Auri Kiwi) Pretty funny story actually. My old group made it to J waves in a8s. Due to some unfortunate events our group disbanded. I decided to just play casually letting my sub run out. I then decided to make a PF saying i was looking for a group. 15 mins later i was scheduled for tryouts haha.

(Mike Zulu) The obvious answer is we came together through raiding. I have not met one person in this group outside of raiding first. I know its a good fit when the raiders show they are serious about raiding. We have gone through several raiders that are either not up to the challenge or dedicated to the raid. I am really happy at where we are now as a group.

(Relicus Ashborne) Well it was a pretty organic process. As we replaced people who no longer fit or had to find new people after losing individuals who no longer wished to raid or maybe raid elsewhere, we kept finding higher quality replacements. That’s kinda where the name of our group comes from we have had to find a lot of different people through Gordias-Creator, but I think our team is stronger now than it ever has been.

(Montgraves D’Ambrosia) I don’t like idiots. They are not idiots. Most of the time.

(Flyan Fang) I was recruited by Ahri. I don’t know about the team’s history tho. It came as the tight fit, Errrr, by feeling I guess

(Ethereal Nijix) Originally I had no plans to raid this tier, but Auri Kiwi, our Warrior and longtime friend of mine, mentioned his group needed a Melee DPS and asked me if I was interested. I’ve subbed for the group before and have done random content with them so I decided to give it a try. Once I started raiding with them more I found that everyone was open to suggestions and new ideas that could potentially benefit the raid group as a whole. This was a definite positive for me since it is difficult to raid and grow as a group with people that do not take constructive criticism very well.

What role do you play for your static?

(Flara)  I double main BRD/MCH. I’m still learning and growing as a raider since I only just officially started to raid last tier. I’ve been BRD on and off since I started playing the game but have only played MCH since late last tier. I have plenty of room left to grow in these roles but I do enjoy the challenge!

(Ahri)  Boosted Animal

(Auri Kiwi) I play Warrior.

(Mike Zulu) Main tank, Dark Knight.

(Relicus Ashborne) Oh I kinda mentioned it earlier, but I do the Fire IV stuffs

(Montgraves D’Ambrosia) Like I said in the introduction, I’m the Goad for Nijix. I swear, that guy runs out of TP before he even finishes his opener.

(Flyan Fang) Scholar.

(Ethereal Nijix) I main Monk, but I’m currently playing Disembowel.

How often did you raid in this tier?

(Flara) When the patch dropped we were raiding about 4 days a week and 2.5-3hrs each night. Now that we’ve cleared the content we’re much more lax, I think we went one week unable to raid after we got our pages. 2-3 days seems to be the average now and not always for the full 2.5 hrs.

(Ahri) During prog we tried to raid 4 days a week, 2 1/2 – 3 hours a day (but only 1 of the 3 weeks of prog actually ended up this way haha). Now we just come together on the first available day after reset for a couple hours to grab loot, and then we return to the fights 1-2 nights a week after as schedules and desire allow to practice some cool new strats or work on optimization in areas we struggle.

(Auri Kiwi) We didn’t raid that much honestly. Like 3 days a week during prog, we would sometimes push a few more hours when we were close to clearing a turn or something.

(Mike Zulu) For progression raiding it was Monday – Thurday 6:30 – 9:00 PM PST and if we were close to a clear or had time we would add on days or more time before or after raid. Right now we just do clears on Tuesday and maybe Wednesday if we have trouble. Then at least one day is spent practicing optimizing certain fights and speedkills. So like 1-3 days now.

(Relicus Ashborne) We raided Monday-Thursday from 9:30pm-12:00pm EST. We lost a couple days in prog due to some unfortunate events cough Auri banned cough, but we made up for it with over raiding and such so on average about 12 hours a week.

(Montgraves D’Ambrosia) Tue, Wed, Thurs from 6:30 – 9 PM PST, although during progression we’d try to fit in as many off days as possible. Sometimes they’d help, most times they wouldn’t. We do a thing we call ‘over-raiding,’ where, if everyone’s okay with it, we’ll keep going past raid end. That’s actually what happened for our first AS12 clear; think we overraided until like 11 PM PST or something like that. It was actually going to be our last pull for the night whether we downed it or not, so that’s a thing.

(Flyan Fang) 3-4 days a week. 2.5-4 hours a day

(Ethereal Nijix) We did 3 hour days, 2-4 days a week. We basically took our time with clearing the entirety of Creator Savage, prioritizing real-life commitments.

How did you like this tier compared to the others?

(Flara) I raided very lightly via PFs during Gordias during my stint in Gilgamesh so my knowledge of that tier is fairly limited. In comparison to Midas, I found Midas to be far more challenge (and frustrating at times) than Creator has been. All in all, I find this tier probably the best of the 3 for newer or more casual statics to start out on and much more enjoyable even in weekly clears.

(Ahri)  This tier was a LOT of fun compared to the previous tiers. It was not the challenge of Gordias, or have the single gloriouis fight that A8S was in Midas, but it was fun and felt mechanically fluid and interesting.

(Auri Kiwi) I really had a lot of fun in Creator. Pretty much on par with Midas I would say. However Final coil still remains my favorite raid tier.

(Mike Zulu) I enjoy it a lot even if people think it’s too easy. I think there is a nice balance between difficulty and fun and right now I like the balance. Maybe they could have made A12S a little harder but right now I am really enjoying moving into optimizing the raids for speed kills. To me that is where the challenge lies. My favorite fight is A10S.

(Relicus Ashborne) This tier was interesting to me because our group had just cleared AS8 right before Alex was released and going from that like adrenaline high to AS9 was very lack luster if I’m going to be honest. Overall this tier was very fun, but it did lack the challenge of Midas and Gordias.

(Montgraves D’Ambrosia) It was pretty good. Less frustrating than Midas, less braindead than Gordias (minus AS3.)

(Flyan Fang) It’s much easier lol

(Ethereal Nijix) This tier, as a whole, was more enjoyable than Gordias or Midas. It felt a lot more like Coil and those were good times. It’s nice to see a lot more people raiding now, compared to before.

Do you think Square Enix should use this as a basis for raids?

(Flara) I believe that if they continue to roll out raid content like this they may eventually cause some of the more intense or hardcore groups to fizzle out and seek more difficult content elsewhere, unless they roll out a third level of difficulty during a later patch once content has been out for a reasonable amount of time. I foresee my own boredom to be fairly strong with this content by the time Stormblood rolls out. I’m happy that I enjoy to PF learns and trials with friends to maintain my interest in the game before then.

(Ahri) To me, Creator was a litmus test. I think it was a success. More on this later, but I think having the initial set of raids be akin to this sort of thing is the right way to go, because raiding feels alive and communal, rather than being a secret agent for select 007 units.

(Auri Kiwi) Yes definitely. The raiding community feels alive again! I see a lot of weekly clears and new statics recruiting in PF and that is something that I’ve missed a lot.

(Mike Zulu) As far as difficulty goes maybe a little more difficult. Mechanics wise, I also enjoy it. Though I wish there was a system in place to prevent repeat drops. Literally every clear of A9S we see a healer drop. Every. Time. Titles for clearing the raids needs to come back. I like the titles more than the mounts. A “Savager” mode wouldnt hurt either. Give something for the groups that have cleared something to progress on after the regular raids were done and give a prize that is extra special.

(Relicus Ashborne) If what Square Enix has been saying is true and they are planning to release challenge modes or a third difficulty even in Stormblood then I think Creator Savage is the perfect difficulty for future content. So many more people are raiding on our little old server of Famfrit now its amazing.

(Montgraves D’Ambrosia) It’s a good starting point, but with the vague “battle system revamp” announcement from FanFest, who knows what they’re going to do.

(Flyan Fang) Not really.  This tier is too easy

(Ethereal Nijix) The difficulty curve of Creator from A9S-A12S is much smoother than the zigzag from A5S-A8S with A6S being arguably more difficult than A7S pre-nerf or the spike that was Gordias from A2S to A3S. It makes more sense for these fights to be linearly increasing in difficulty as they are in Creator, and using that as a basis is agreeable. With that said, I would really like to see Square Enix experiment more with changing the structure of raids. This would include perhaps adding another boss, as opposed to the standard 4 boss raid system we currently have. Even really simple things like adding an extra item drop to, in our current case, A12S that would allow us to upgrade the i270 Scripture Weapon to i275 to match the Alexander Weapon. This would give us the option to choose between 2 weapons of the same item level for best-in-slot while still requiring you to clear A12S to get it. i270 best-in-slot weapon is FeelsBadMan.

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Angered previously mentioned in another interview that they want something on the difficulty of A3S to come back. Did you all think that the difficulty was fair? Did you want something more difficult?

(Flara) I have never stepped foot in A3S so can’t speak to that. I did hope for and expected slightly more difficult content but this level of difficulty was definitely a much needed breath of life in the raid scene, especially in such a tiny server as Famfrit.

(Ahri) Oh most certainly. A3S and A8S are some of the best raids, and arguably Id say best “boss fights” in general gaming history ever made. Challenging, fun, involved, invigorating. The cheers of victory after clearing A3S, and msot certainly A8S, will forever live on in my memory. I have won state championships for some sports competitions, and those clears’ euphoria rivals them in their entirety. However, I would like to see a different approach to the raiding sectioning as proposed by Yoshi at NA FanFest: to create a third tier of difficulty for the “select few” that will be released on odd patches that include essentially a fight for glory (and titles, glams, etc).

As to the difficulty of A3S itself, I see A3 as the perfect example of a tier 4 fight for the original release of raids. A8S I’d argue also can hold that title in tandem.

(Auri Kiwi) To me there is no such thing as an unfair difficulty :p I would like seeing something like a mix of A3S and SCOB savage back to the game. However I think those should only reward players with titles to avoid making it unfair.

(Mike Zulu) I definitely think they could with a harder mode then the current raid tier like in Coil of Bahamut days. A lot of raiders would love that. The difficulty in the current raid is fine in my opinion.

(Relicus Ashborne) I luckily had the opportunity to clear AS3 and I have to say it was one of the most fun fights that this game has released. I do think it was fair difficulty wise and id love to see more fights with a higher challenge level. Hopefully we get that third tier and no one can complain that its too hard because that’s what it would be made for!

(Montgraves D’Ambrosia) I have no idea who/what Angered is, but, at least to me, AS3 wasn’t difficult. It was punishing. A single mistake during any given phase of the fight would lead to an almost guaranteed wipe. Between the tight DPS checks, the amount of one-shot-kill abilities, and the RNG (and shitty server ticks; Digititis pass-offs still haunt my nightmares), the fight was so stacked against you you could practically hear Yoshi’s maniacal cackling every time there was a wipe. I’m not surprised AS3 was known as the “destroyer of raid groups.”

(Ethereal Nijix) I thoroughly enjoyed A3S and would definitely want something on or around the same difficulty, but I understand that a lot of people did not enjoy it. I think most people died to the DPS checks so they could not really enjoy the fight because they would just die repeatedly. Although I think that was more of an issue with the structuring of Gordias and how the fight preceding it, A2S, literally did nothing to help prepare you for A3S since it was basically just a bunch of adds…

Creator was a step in the right direction in terms of proper tuning. I still don’t agree with Yoshi’s decision (or habit) of making the penultimate fight of every raid the most difficult, but as long as the content is enjoyable I guess I can’t really complain too much. That said, I felt like AS9, 10, and 12 were too easy. AS9 in particular was so easy I thought Yoshi was going to pull another AS8 on us and have the boss heal to full and give itself like 4 more arms or something. If they took some of the difficulty spike from 11 and, at the very least, gave it to AS12, I think it would have been a more enjoyable experience. Like I said, it’s a step in the right direction, but it’s only a step.

(Flyan Fang) I do want something more difficult but I personally don’t know exactly how hard A3S is.  The difficulty of last tier feels pretty good though.

Do you feel like your group could have cleared the entirety of Creator with best-in-slot gear from Midas?

(Flara)  Yes, we may have met some restrictions with Vit if we didn’t remeld but the dps was certainly already there for our group to clear in that gear if necessary. We were very fortunate to have a slew of crafters willing to assist us in gearing at patch drop so we didn’t test the gear check all that much.

(Ahri)  Easily. Our healers and DPS would have needed to stack vit melds on ourselves to survive the absurd damage Holy Bleed and Double Mega Holy could do but our group synergy and the chemistry between our tanks and healers is what Id argue world-class, and Fang hardly heals in multiple locations, so we could make up for that.

(Auri Kiwi) A9S, A10S and A11S yes without a doubt. For A12S on the other hand, healers and dps would have needed vit melds to meet the HP threshold.

(Mike Zulu) I’m not entirely sure to be honest. We might be able to clear the DPS checks but I’m not entirely sure about the vitality and healing checks. If we could clear it it would just take more time to progress.

(Relicus Ashborne) I think for the most part yes its probably entirely doable with Midas best-in-slot although I’m pretty sure DPS would need some VIT melds.

(Montgraves D’Ambrosia) Nope.

(Flyan Fang) Yes, by practice.

(Ethereal Nijix) I’m not entirely sure if we could. HP checks would be pretty rough in A12S. Definitely doable in full crafted i250 gear with Vitality melds, but best-in-slot Midas gear would be challenging.

When did you feel like you ran into a gear wall?

(Flara) Um, the closest I could say we may have been was dealing with prey in first phase of A12S. My vit was tad lower and it took some interesting tactics while still avoiding Vit melds to live through that while I was on my MCH. In all honesty I’d hardly call this a gear wall though as we were able to adjust strat and coordinate our healers to work through this and still avoid using Vit melds. I feel this said a lot about our healers’ abilities.

(Ahri) The only walls we ever ran into was the add phase in a10 for a couple hours while Mike had some struggles handling grabbing the adds and getting the vuln on them, and a12 pools + puddles part of final rotation took a while to get down…and to be honest, we’re still not entirely sharpish on it haha, we just skip that part of the fight entirely at this point.

(Auri Kiwi) As a group the first thing that comes to my mind is that add phase in a10s LOL im glad we skip it now. My personal wall was those god damn berserk timings in A11S. ohh… my… god The sodium chloride was real.

(Mike Zulu) Never. If you ever ran into a vit check you would just play it safe and have your tanks go tank stance and your healers heal more. DPS checks were never a problem either. Almost anything can be handled with coordination and group composition. You only know when you run into a gear wall when you are handling a mechanics as optimal as you know you can and you still fail. I see a lot of groups out there with bad group compositions and it can lead to shortcomings in the raids

(Relicus Ashborne) There wasn’t really any gear checks in the fights that I could remember took us a couple tries to make sure everyone lived through double preys and double mega holy in AS12, but overall no real DPS or VIT checks to worry about.

(Montgraves D’Ambrosia) Luckily Sovereign has a plethora of high-class crafters, so gear was never an issue for me. Shout-out to Ignasse, Telandra, and the rest. Thanks for playing the part of the game I don’t.

(Flyan Fang) In this tier, not really.

(Ethereal Nijix) I never felt that we ran into a gear wall. The DPS checks in Creator are almost nonexistent as long as everyone is playing at the level that they should be playing at.

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What do you think of Famfrit’s raiding now that Creator is out?

(Flara) I feel that the raiding community has definitely come to life this time around. This tier truly has felt like a great entry point for new teams and new 60 players. I know I’ve enjoyed subbing and joining learns as I can to assist because of the growth. The content is fun with a multitude of ways to clear. Party comp is barely relevant so when groups can’t find the “perfect” class for what some would call the meta it doesn’t make or break the deal. With the content being easier and more appealing to step into, I think it’s been super nice for groups that just want to raid with some friends.

(Ahri) It’s aight. Certainly more lively and active, but there is still a problem of some groups having the same core issues they had before, and people leaving the server for other ones. But if nothing else, seeing Vitae and Hasty Touch improve significantly and step their game up has been awesome.

(Auri Kiwi) Many groups have cleared a12s or are pretty close to beating it. That wasn’t the case in gordias/midas. I think this is exactly what Famfrit needed.

(Mike Zulu) It’s better then Midas and Gordias for sure because now I think there are five groups that have cleared A12S at the time of writing this. Before in Gordias only two groups cleared and in Midas three groups cleared. Granted the last two clears on A8S were in the last week of the raid being relevant content. I still see people leaving the server though and it still sucks. Not enough people on Famfrit use party finder for hard content compared to other servers its a ghost town even on primetime hours. I would like to see more people interested in raiding on Famfrit or are up to the level of skill and determination required for the groups that want to compete in the raids. I still see some people fundamentally do not know how to play their class in primal extreme runs or are very average and only do the bare minimum. So if skilled groups lose any of their members not many people can replace them on this server and it creates a domino effect of that entire raid group leaving the server. Maybe opening up raidfinder in the future will open up options for people to raid cross server without ilvl requirements. Currently our scholar is on Exodus. Once we all reached the ilvl requirement for A12s via raidfinder he switched over to Exodus and we raid fine now. So expanding on that concept can work.

(Relicus Ashborne) This raiding tier has a much healthier community in comparison to Midas and the middle to end of Gordias. The As3 wall had a big impact on our server. Its good to see a myriad of different players taking an interest in raiding now.

(Montgraves D’Ambrosia) I don’t think much of it at all, mainly because I don’t care about the other groups. I don’t know them, and I doubt they really know me. Let them do them, and us do us. All I care about is whether or not we succeed. That said, I’m happy for Secret Oatmeal because I consider a few of their members friends.  As for the raiding community of Famfrit itself, I guess it’s a good thing that our group no longer composes literally a third of the server’s raiding scene.

(Flyan Fang) More groups are raiding, which is a good thing.  But some of the best players on the server are leaving.  I’m not sure if there’s a balance there.  I do hope Famfrit will get better at raiding though.

(Ethereal Nijix) Famfrit’s raiding scene is growing again and that’s nice to see. I would like to see more players devoted to self-improvement, as opposed to being content with their current skill level or thinking that there’s no way they could improve any further, but I might be overstepping my bounds with that one.

Do you think that the barrier to entry for raiding is a lot better now than in the past? Is it incentivized enough?

(Flara)  Aside from the slap in the face from Gordias for so many, entry points have seemed fairly reasonable, this tier is certainly no different. Each person has their own opinions of what would be enough incentive for them so I’m not sure I could really speak to that for everyone. I know I enjoy the challenge of pushing these speed runs and continually practicing my classes to get better, that and running with a group of people I really enjoy is plenty of incentive for me.

(Ahri)  Currently the barrier is pretty much the same. While a9 is not difficult, a1 and a5 were really easy as well at a very similar level. To actually complete the tier is certainly easier though as we have discussed about. But I sitll feel there needs to be more rewards than simply BiS gear. Exculsive glams on weapons are okay, but proper titles and maybe crafting materials and other awesome statless glam items would be even better.

(Auri Kiwi) It is much better now in my opinion. i feel like for the more casual groups, the rewards are now worth giving a shot at clearing it.

(Mike Zulu) The barrier is better for sure. Now we have options like raidfinder and the fights are easier then the last two tiers. I would still want to see a title given for clearing the entire raid like back in Final Coil of Bahamut. To me, the titles were really cool and in my opinion really sought after. The mounts are nice but for some reason I just don’t care about the mount as much. The titles are inherently defining to the person what uses the title and you see it on them all the time. I would like to see titles come back from the raids.

(Relicus Ashborne) Oh definitely this tier is far easier than the others. That goes without saying and therefore allows for more to enjoy it. As far as an incentive goes I’ve been one to just enjoy it for the challenge and less about the reward, but most people do require the Alex weapon to reach best-in-slot so that should be good enough in my opinion.

(Montgraves D’Ambrosia) I think so, at least for AS9 and 10. Like I said before, I don’t like the whole “third boss is the wall” philosophy. As for incentive, I don’t think that’s changed much. Do the thing, engorge your e-peen. Pretty straightforward. If anything, I’d say Creator’s incentive is actually lower simply because the gear you get is undyeable and the additional bits and bobs on the chest piece isn’t that noticeable for certain classes.

(Flyan Fang)  Yes. The difficulty is downed a lot and there’s crafted pieces and melds. Learning how to raid is not hard in this tier and one can catch up with gears pretty easily. For the incentives I think it has been all the same throughout all these tiers: Gears and logs. At least to me personally.

(Ethereal Nijix) Creator did a good job in lowering the barrier to entry for raiding, which encouraged more people to try and continue trying, in comparison to Gordias and Midas. The majority of players (non-raiders) will say that raiding is incentivized enough due to raiders having a chance at getting max item level gear for the current tier. I don’t think raiding is incentivized enough, but this game tends to cater towards the majority of players so I don’t see the incentive value changing anytime soon. It does feel bad though when your i275 Dark Knight weapon is worse than your i270.

Is there enough of a “test” to see if groups’ DPS is good enough to raid or should Stone, Sea, Sky completion be required before entering EX Primals and savage raids?

(Flara)  Honestly, the group will find out once they get in if their dps will be enough. Stone, Sea, Sky is gimmicky and, though it’s useful to gauge on a personal level, it can’t feasibly give an idea if a group can keep their head screwed on straight during mechanics and still dps. That’s what the raid is for in the first place right?

(Ahri)  Extensively? Hard to say. Usually the Faust is the hidden true test of a gruop’s ability to manage cooldowns together and the such, but not a single fight in this tier has even remotely anything of a DPS check. SSS dummies are cool for testing rotations, but requirements for entering primals and raids? I strongly disagree, especially from a healer’s perspective as those dummies are unreasonably high hurdles. Raid synergy in cooldown management with each other, especially in supports, makes up even when the entire group individually might not have the said DPS check they need.

(Auri Kiwi) I guess stone, sea, sky is good to get your main rotation down. however its a striking dummy that doesnt move with no mechanics. I think the best way to find out is to go in and try to kill it. xD

(Mike Zulu) There’s not a good way to determine DPS besides parsers. In a raid setting Sea, Sky, Stone is a good way to determine if your gear is good enough to kill a fight and if your single target rotation is good enough but all that gets thrown out the door when you thrown in mechanics, adds and team synergy or lack of it. Someone can be amazing at killing a striking dummy but as soon as they have to shift focus onto mechanics they can fall apart. I would love to see an in game parser added to the game. Some people don’t know where their damage lies and hopefully seeing it first hand compared to others or others of the same class would be an incentive to improve. Though there’s a difference between wanting to improve beyond acceptable and being acceptable. I see current people’s numbers on the current raids with clears with underperforming damage in my opinion and they do have the tools to improve. It all depends on the group too and what their goals are.

(Relicus Ashborne) For creator there aren’t really any DPS checks unless you consider the ones where you push mechanics. So for this tier as a DPS you really didn’t have to preform well in your roll in order to clear the content as long as you did mechanics. I’ve always been a fan of the idea of adding some sort of requirement to enter raiding/ ex primals. Although I don’t know if Stone, Sea, Sky is the proper mode for that requirement.

(Montgraves D’Ambrosia) Sure, mandatory SSS completion could be implemented, but what would that prove? That a player can tunnel-vision on their hotbar and kill a striking dummy? Please.  DPS doesn’t matter much. Mechanics do. This is especially true for Creator. The DPS checks are pretty much non-existant, but if you screw up mechanics you’re boned.

(Flyan Fang) A group can always test and see whether their dps is enough by simply going in and raid. I don’t think SSS should be cleared before one can enter. At least not by its design now. The healer dummies are way too hard to kill. I have no idea about the others’ dummies though. But I think SSS is required they should at least change the SSS requirements a bit.

(Ethereal Nijix) Requiring the completion of Stone, Sea, Sky might be a good idea depending on how accurately they’re tuned. The game really just needs to have a way to let the player see their performance without the need of outside sources.

Do you have any advice for any upcoming raiders?

(Flara) Make sure to enjoy the small things. Don’t get in your head about every little thing that goes wrong or the minor drama that has zero relevance to the fight and to the static.

(Ahri)  Research extensively. Understand each fight before you step in, and as a healer it is vital, if not required to memorize or at least forsee damage for the next couple-a-three phases of a fight you are progressing on. For a group, look into FFlogs and compare your damage and rotations compared to the toppist of the tops, and see how you can improve as such. Raid leaders can do that for their whole group and should not be scared to politely tell members where they can improve their rotation in fights. Heaven knows how much time I have spent on that site looking into what everyone is doing on PHNX.

(Auri Kiwi) Don’t give up, play to the best of your abilities, be open to any constructive criticism. Your team is there to help you not to bash you.

(Mike Zulu) Be persistent and determined and try to build your group rather then “find” that magical group. Don’t have an ego. Take criticism. You can always improve. Also having a good raid comp can mean a big difference in raids.

(Relicus Ashborne) Hmm the best advice I can give is make sure you have your rotation memorized so you can do your job and perform mechanics at the same time and to tough out the hard times, everyone gets frustrated or tilted, but you won’t get anywhere if you cant cool off and tough it out.

(Montgraves D’Ambrosia)  First and foremost: MECHANICS, MECHANICS, MECHANICS. Like I said, barring AS12’s timegates, the DPS checks in Creator are almost trivially easy. Don’t be the moron who blows himself up because he jumped the gun and ran into an AoE. Perform mechanics until they’re second nature, and your damage will go up naturally. You’ll know where you can sneak in an extra GCD, you’ll know when it’s safe to pop cooldowns, etc. The leader of my first raid group way back in vanilla WoW told me something that I’ve taken to heart for my entire raiding career: “It’s pretty easy to figure out how much DPS you’re doing as a corpse on the ground.” I like to think it’s served me pretty well thus far.

Secondly: be determined, but don’t be stubborn. If a strategy you or your group is using is just barely scraping you by, don’t just shrug and say “good enough.” Sit down and refine it. Is there an extra cooldown your tank can pop? Is there a more optimal spell your healer(s) can cast? Maybe have your SCH stop trying to be a SMN and turn off Cleric Stance and actually heal for a second. Be determined to succeed. However, if something simply isn’t working despite your best efforts, look for another way. If that way doesn’t work, look for another. Don’t just throw your arms up and ragequit. Don’t get into the mindset of “this way or no way.” Don’t be stubborn.

Thirdly: make sure your main healer doesn’t have Cleric Stance on during a healing-intensive portion of the fight.

(Flyan Fang) Be patient and always view guides. 😀

(Ethereal Nijix) Don’t let your memes be dreams.

Any parting thoughts?

(Flara) I look forward to seeing more trying out this raid tier and just can’t wait to see what Stormblood brings us!

(Ahri) Ahri and Taihou are my waifus and fite me irl if you think otherwise.

(Auri Kiwi) Do it now. Sometimes “later” becomes “never”.

(Mike Zulu) Go out and try the raids! This expansion’s raids are easier. Make and join party finders for anything! It takes less time then you think to try.

(Relicus Ashborne) We’ve covered a lot. I don’t think I have much more to say lol

(Montgraves D’Ambrosia) I’m still salty we didn’t name our raid group “Clown Fiesta.”

(Ethereal Nijix) Monk lives matter.

Shoutouts!

(Flara) I definitely have to give a shoutout to Phoenix Group! I’m so glad I’ve been able to raid with all of you! Shoutout to our FC, Sovereign, without their support we certainly couldn’t have progressed or continued to trek on as we have. All my friends and the people that have followed us as we’ve made this journey through the last couple of tiers.

(Ahri) I’m not much for shoutouts, but I certainly would like to thank the hard-working members of Reign who assisted me in crafting gear and food and pots for us this tier. And additionally, I would like to extend a warm gesture of gratitude to the members of the PHNX family, Aldath Asakura, Zeeb Khah, and Mighty Alrighty. I would like to thank Mighty for cutting his teeth on me way back when I didn’t even know Shroud of Saints refreshed mp, and putting faith and belief in me to inspire confidence I do not know I could have mustered myself. As Miu Nih once said on a post on Reddit I saw: not all members of the raid group necessarily hit the boss.

(Auri Kiwi) Shoutouts to Ahri for dealing with all of us and for not healing in cleric stance during the last phase of a12s

(Mike Zulu) Thank you Ignasse Poisson and Space Ghost for making us food and potions and whoever in the FC helped out. Thank you to everyone in Sovereign and thank you to my raid members for being as determined as you can be.

(Relicus Ashborne) Shoutouts to Reign and all the help we’ve received via food and crafts and of course to Phoenix Group we worked hard and did pretty well for our little server.

(Montgraves D’Ambrosia) *looks up at question 11* Whoops.

Shout-out to Darth Bunbun for introducing me to 14’s raid scene. You’ll always be my ninja senpai! Shout-out to Z’ekias Duskrunner, Hawken Pierce, Tee Bao and David Anderson of Secret Oatmeal and Aldath Asakura for subbing for us for like 2 months or something while we got our shit together. Special thanks to Mighty Alrighty for putting together the initial group that would eventually become PHNX even though he’s a filthy casual now. And a tip of my hat to all the previous members of what used to be called Group 0 (apologies in advance if I miss anyone; we’ve been through a lot of members): Mighty Alrighty (again) Kajo Saito, Big Chocolate, Katty Wompuss, Zwelfaren Corsair, Cyclone Eragon, David Anderson (again), Steve Landry, and Liam Apollyon. We wouldn’t have gotten very far without any one of you. And yeah, even you, Honey Frame.

(Flyan Fang) OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH

(Ethereal Nijix) Shoutout to all my friends still on Famfrit, both subbed and unsubbed. Hope to see you guys in 4.0!

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