Final Fantasy XIV: The Re-Prog Adventures

(Screenshot credit: Mythena Hordeum)

Recently I went back into Omega Deltascape Savage just to see how things have shaped up since I last went in.  There are also some notes I want to add before jumping into the raid.  This is written in a way where thoughts are just coming to my head and I’m writing them down as I’m reflecting.  Most of this is written from the perspective of someone who plays way too many other games so my line of thinking is extremely different from what is/may be accepted mostly because I’m not very good at the game.

Around the time people were getting done with NEO, I was in talks about possibly bringing back a version of “Sundays” where a lot of people that went had a lot of fun.  Sunday was a day where people raided outside of their statics in this particular group.  The whole point of it was to raid with different people and try some new strategies.  One condition was that we could only do it if they lifted the loot lock otherwise there would always be one or zero chests at the end.  We did this in Creator Savage where we raided on Sundays and got people cleared throughout the tier.  Another factor was how people kept talking about how they were interested and talking about Jericho Greywolfe’s article but didn’t really have anyone to spearhead anything.  I decided to take it upon myself to do the same thing in Omega except in a crazier form where I would get whoever in the FC (will be referred to as guild) was interested in raiding and go.  People were already doing book runs with me so I thought to give it a try with full-fledged progression.

Progression with my guild has been interesting to say the least because I didn’t expect so many people to be interested in running the current raids.  The biggest thing I discovered within my guild was how there was a lot of decent players but they weren’t doing any progression content which confused me.  After asking questions, some have attempted but their groups broke up, some out of boredom, and some gave it a thought but couldn’t find the right group.  We also added more people to the party after awhile.

The “Fresh group” progression:

Most had not cleared O3S or even touched the tier so it was interesting to see them grow from the very start.  They went weeknights and sometimes for a few days in a row.  It was difficult at times especially with roster changes but it comes with raiding so I personally was prepared.

O1S – Very joke fight to these guys.  Took one pull.

O2S – Took a little bit but the way they describe it was “it’s like an EX Primal”.  This took maybe three or four pulls because they had to learn the “go up” and “stay down” for things but it wasn’t too bad.

O3S – This is where I think a lot of them actually had to have real progression.  They took a few raid times to figure out the nuances of the fight.  What they also learned was that they needed to push their knowledge and their classes farther than they could have imagined because of the tight DPS check.  What’s more interesting is how they were able to find their healing and damage so quickly.  Their total progression time was about four maybe five raid days.  It was a pain to farm it but it was fine after a few weeks.

Mindjack tethers weren’t really hard for them but the stacking during animal farm for oink was what confused them if the RNG wasn’t in our favor.  They breezed through a lot of the early phases and had to learn the nuances of where the boss jumped but a lot of that was easily solved.  I mostly think we were fighting a laggy instance more than we were fighting mechanics now that I have the time to reflect on it.

O4S – Exdeath took a few weeks for them to understand but it was mostly from a positioning stand point but once they got it down, they would one shot sometimes unless black holes were terrible.  The healing portion had to be learned just because of how much has to be done to keep people topped but that was really it.

Neo progression took awhile because of how much explosions and mechanics they had to memorize.  By the time this article releases, they will have downed it in six raid weeks.  I think most of what they had to understand was how each phase was handled and they cleared when they finally learned how Grand Cross Omega was played out they were able to clear.  Most of what they realized was how they had to hit the magic DPS number and realize what roles they had to play in the fight.   I’m proud that they were able to finish the tier.

If I could detail one major thing with this it’s probably their Grand Cross Omega learning because they never actually learned it but cheesed enough to see to the end of the fight.  A lot of their perceptions were that they were supposed to clear in two raid nights but in reality, it was going to take more because each person had to learn GCO and the nuances.  They had to keep practicing because someone always messed it up.  I knew going in that they would have to put more days into practicing and clearing.

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/219748548

“The Weekend Group”

To preface this a little bit, most of them had been in progression but had statics that broke up.  None of them were under-geared because they had so many clears coming in.  These guys had either been to the start of NEO or were stuck on Exdeath (second black holes).  I still think to this day some of them were lying about where they were at in progression just because some of them seemed to know a bit too much.

O1S – Nothing to talk about.

O2S – Some needed gear but that was it.

O3S – We got a couple of books from there and some weapon upgrades.  A few people complained about not having enough books so we in a few more times just so they could get some upgrades and then we were onto O4S.  “Damn to do O4S we have to do O3S” was something that was said quite a bit.

O4S – Exdeath was downed relatively quickly contrary to the most of the group’s belief that they had never cleared it or seen beyond the first black holes.  This group’s problem was understanding that “boss is north” and once they understood the stacking for second black holes, they were golden on clearing.

Neo ExDeath – Some of them thought they were bad but a lot of things quickly clicked when they realized that they had to look at the boss a bit to understand what was going on.  It was the weirdest thing I’ve ever observed.  Some of them would literally play out each mechanic so they would be okay playing out the uptime strat for Grand Cross Delta and then die to the lasers when they weren’t supposed to.  Grand Cross Omega was challenging but I think the struggle of getting there and practicing was exhausting to a lot of them and a lot of people who were doing progression in that fight.

With some two-way players that play for both groups, I think for them they got more practice so they were able to go between both groups and understand mechanics a lot faster since I found out they were the types that had to bash their heads in to understand things.  A lot of the group learned visually but they had a lot of outside help since people playing at those positions were able to give their insights on what DPS and healers were supposed to do for their mechanics.  I guess this group was helped out more with how much experience was given.  What sucked a lot was losing progression time due to the holidays occurring but there was nothing we could do about that.

For a lot of them, I could definitely feel the finally killing feeling since it had been a long tier for some.  To me, it’s mostly business as usual and I’m glad to get people through it.  I think a lot of them were motivated to clear to move on from this tier and into their new statics.

I still find it weird that they learned through dying by the lasers.

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/222097888 – For another vod

Post Progression thoughts:

My own mistake with them was trying to get greedy with their clear and try to force it by fielding a roster that I thought we could clear with.  The thought process I had was that we were missing some key people so I decided to get people who had cleared before in hopes that we could feed a couple of them to carry past GCO.  While it didn’t work, they still got some work in with GCO which was key to both groups clearing in the next two days.

One of the biggest fears I had was people burning out so I held them out for one raid day and brought them back for the next one which cleared.

I had fun with both groups and I definitely learned quite a bit about how each person plays.  There are some people who I feel belong in casual groups while some others should be going 3-4 days a week because of their skill level and potential to clear early.  There were definitely times where I felt the weekend group were extremely rusty just because they have to wait a long time to finally raid.  We had our difficulties but at least people were able to clear.

Taco Bell was MVP every tier.  Although Popeyes and Little Beijing come in at a tie because they filled me up for when I had to use hardcore brain power to do things like Tank LB.  My personal orders in progression was the Crunchwrap Supreme or the Grilled Stuffed Burrito with chicken but with these guys, it was the Chicken Chalupas.  The weekend group had me when I was eating pizza.  It’s important to not be hungry during raid because performance can suffer and there were times where I would spaghetti because either I ate spaghetti or I just didn’t eat enough.

It was fun getting people through O1S and O2S and sometimes it sucked because I felt like I was alienating people just because I was super focused on people beating O4S.  I liked how people outside of the community were able to come in and help out with book clears and how we were able to keep them around.  I never thought something that was supposed to be “book runs” would end up evolving to over 80 people coming in and just playing with us.  The other thing I liked a lot was how statics that were reforming were able to network with us and fill in the gaps they were missing.

Some people after clearing were doing as I hoped and trying to get better to look like better prospects to their next groups.  I think the group as a whole got a lot better but there’s still a lot of areas for improvement.  Using logs was important for our runs mostly because we had to look at data to see where things went wrong.  Most of the time, some of us would rewatch the VOD and discover things we didn’t previously see.

I think it was important to keep the feel of a static alive when everyone was attempting just because I wanted to build consistency and to give them an idea of what it would be like when they start to raid outside of these groups.  What I also thought was important was having decisions on rosters so they wouldn’t have to stress out about having to find new people to replace.  On the flip side, I thought that maybe giving a chance for the groups to find the missing slots themselves would be a good idea but I thought against it mostly because I could find people myself and I got too impatient.  I did try to differentiate the two groups a little bit by having virtually different rosters but we still had way too much overlap and I just accepted it.

Everyone worked hard and I’m proud of everyone for sticking it out and clearing.  I’m happy that everyone was able to find a raid group for 4.2 and how we were able to create a huge network of people to play with.  When people talk about communities, I think our FC, the Twitch community, and the raiding subset is on another level compared to everyone else.

Thank you for a wonderful tier and while I’ll be back in March!  Thank you to everyone who subbed for us and the people who filled in long term!

OH and Shinryu!

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/223732092 – For the video

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