Experiencing new content is always a thrilling experience for any gamer. However it pales in comparison to the stress of charging into the unknown with the mindset to be the first in your world to conquer it. A careful balance of speed and efficiency, players compete with the rest of the server to see just who made the best use of each pull and every cooldown. One must appreciate the intricate spectacle that unfolds as players blindly take on the developers (often sadistic) traps and challenges in a race to be the first ones through.
The members of Team Double or Nothing, a faction of the Elysium free company, were up to this challenge. They were the first to clear the Alexander Gordias and Midas Savage Raid in it’s entirety in the world. Now we conclude with their thoughts on raid tiers.
For part one of the interview – http://blog.cyberpowerpc.com/2016/08/23/an-interview-with-team-double-or-nothing-a-world-progression-team-part-1/
What were your first impressions when you stepped in and your first thoughts of savage?
(Double or Nothing) Our first impressions: The Steampunk/Mecha style wasn’t too much to our liking because compared to the Binding Coil of Bahamut, it was just lacking depth. Both gear and storywise. We generally knew what to expect coming from the Story mode. This is because Savage was released two weeks after the normal mode.
Knowing this was a completely new raid, how did it feel to see different phases for the first time? Was there excitement being it was something new or was it business as usual?
(Double or Nothing) Mixed reactions, but mostly it was just business as usual. Only a few phase changes were actually interesting, so to speak. We specifically enjoyed the many phases of A3S.
What are your thoughts on the DPS check for all the floors? Did you think it was overtuned or do you think it was just right?
(Double or Nothing) The DPS checks for Floors 1 and 2 seemed slightly undertuned. Floor 3 the DPS check was perfect. It was killable first week and we still feel we should have. Floor 4 the DPS and HP check was extremely high, to the point where gear then became the limiting factor in our progression.
I know it took awhile before A4S was beaten but I was mostly curious about the HP check. Did you feel like some of the floors were more of a gear check than a DPS one?
(Double or Nothing) Aside from Floor 4, none of the floors felt like a gear check.
With Esoteric gear being released much later, would it have helped in the race? Weapons were still three weeks from being available at that point.
(Double or Nothing) Gear would have helped in the race, considering Floor 4 was a gear check in itself.
Your overall opinion on Gordias.
(Double or Nothing) Comparing this raid tier to the previous raid tiers we’ve had, we think Gordias was the second worst. Special mention to A3S for being very fun, however.
(Screenshot of Alexander Midas Turn 4 Savage Clear)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKDRsuABE-k – Clear video of A8S
There was demand for a more mechanic-heavy raid, do you think Midas was the answer?
(Double or Nothing) We think Midas was a partial solution to the problem. This was due to the fact that Midas had a lot of interesting mechanics and environment interraction.
Did you find Midas to be more interesting than Gordias? Do you feel like there were things missing in Midas that existed in Gordias?
(Double or Nothing) Comparing Midas to Gordias, we definitely found Midas to be more interesting. What Midas lacks was tighter DPS checks. It was too far on the other side of the spectrum when compared with Gordias.
There were nerfs to Midas Turn 2 in regards to the mines and outgoing damage early in the raid cycle. Did you feel like this was a necessary change?
(Double or Nothing) We didn’t feel like it was a necessary change. However, we can see what the design team was aiming to change so we don’t have too many complaints about it.
Was this tier less weapon reliant than the previous? Was there a decision to jump straight into savage rather than do Sephirot for the weapons?
(Double or Nothing) The gear checks were pretty low in Midas, so there was less reliance on gear. We did take the time to upgrade our equipment (crafted, primal weapons, etc) whenever we had downtime from raiding.
In your opinion, was this tier’s progression with loot done correctly?
(Double or Nothing) Compared with the previous raid tier it was definitely an improvement. We always prefer tiers that do not have job-locked tome gear.
Class balance was an issue in Gordias but was the raid designed with all classes in mind?
(Double or Nothing) We believe they tried to balance the raid with all the classes in mind. This is visible in their use of darkness damage in A8S as it often caters to PLD and AST (two under-represented classes in Gordias). However, there are some party compositions that just outperform others due to the nature of raiding.
Your overall opinion on Midas.
(Double or Nothing) Definitely an improvement from Gordias which was a pleasure to see. We are hoping for further refinement in the upcoming tier.
(Screenshot from Alexander Midas Turn 6 Savage clear)
(Screenshot from Alexander Gordias Turn 4 Savage clear)
Any more thoughts about Alexander?
(Double or Nothing) None in particular. We are busy focusing on Creator and hoping that it knocks Gordias and Midas out of the park!
Your opinion on Raid Finder.
(Double or Nothing) Raid Finder was a hit or miss, depending on the locale. For Data Centers that use Duty Finder as the go-to for clearing (mainly Japanese servers), this was a great implementation. For servers that use Party Finder as the go-to for clearing (NA/EU mainly), Raid Finder fell pretty flat.
What would you like to see in future raids? What kind of incentive would you make for people to raid?
(Double or Nothing) We definitely would like to see more innovation from future raids, things that would make you think outside the box. Incentives for raiding would have to be obtainable items that are restricted to raiding only.
Do you think you will see another tight race like we saw with your team and Lucrezia?
(Double or Nothing) Tough to say. We think people sometimes forget just how strong of a team Lucrezia was. We’ve definitely seen potential from various groups and Free Companies. We’re of the mindset that anyone could surprise us just like we surprised Lucrezia.
Did your team find racing for World First completion in Bahamut Coils much more competitive than in the entirety of Alexander? Why?
(Double or Nothing) We found it tougher in Bahamut Coils than in the entirety of Alexander, to be quite blunt. Having a competitor that was neck-and-neck to us every step of the way was exhilarating. By the time it got to the end of Floor 8 of Alexander, the pool of competition was quite small. We hope this will change in Creator.
Is your team still raiding even with the race out of the way?
(Double or Nothing) We still raid even with the race out of the way in order to prepare for the next tier and of course, for the glamour.
My server and free company complained about the midcore scene being ignored. How would you address that and what would you do?
(Double or Nothing) We suppose it would come down to what is defined as “midcore” raiding. We believe that to be all of the core concepts that hardcore raiding entails, but without the extreme commitments. We believe Midcore groups should be able to finish the content within a reasonable amount of time (that is, before the next tier releases). Gordias was one glaring example where midcore groups were ignored. Midas was definitely an improvement to that.
(Double or Nothing) We would like to thank everyone who has supported us along the way, from our fellow Free Company members, friends and those who were just interested to see how we would fare. None of this would be possible without them.
We wish you good luck in the raids to come!
For the interviewer, you can follow Geno at twitter.com/genocast for updates!