FINAL FANTASY XI -----ONLINE----- THE NEWBIE MELEE PARTYING GUIDE ============================================================================== Written by Alastair412 - firstname.lastname@example.org version 1.1, October 20th, 2004 Final Fantasy XI Online (c) Square-Enix, Inc. Copyright 2004, Mario Laubacher (Alastair412). Copyrights only apply to sections written myself, as derived works. Contact me via email if you find errors. If you have gameplay questions, it's probably quicker for you to post your questions to the message boards at www.gamefaqs.com. This FAQ may not be published for monetary gain. Written permission is required before hosting it on your website. For all e-mails pertaining to this FAQ, please use "FFXI Melee Guide" in your subject line. Write in plain text if possible. Failure to this may result in your mail being discarded by the spam filter, and I no longer verify my quarantine for false positives. ============================================================================== Contents ======== 1. Version History 2. Scope 3. The first few parties 4. Heading for the Dunes 4.1 The Trip 4.2 Setting up camp 5. Your Role in the Party 5.1 A short introduction to monster hate 5.2 Tanking - Overview 5.3 Main Tank 5.4 Backup Tank 5.5 Melee Damage Dealer 5.6 Pulling 5.7 Food 5.8 Skillchain Timing 5.9 Leaving 6. Dunes Camp suggestions 7. Can't find any parties? Walk in the other job's shoes. 8. Further Resources 9. Credits and Acknowledgements ============================================================================== =======( 1. Version History )================================================= 13/10/2004 v0.5 Posted on Allakhazam WAR forum for review 15/10/2004 v1.0 First published version 18/10/2004 v1.01 Fleshed out tanking 20/10/2004 v1.1 Added reader input, notably pulling, SkillChains and a bit more info for MNKs. =======( 2. Scope )=========================================================== This Guide's purpose is to provide the newbie, single-job WAR or MNK a few tips to get the best out of partying, so that both them and their teammates get the most out of these as soon as possible. It is not intended to be exhaustive or in-dephth, there are other excellent and more specialized guides available for this. =======( 3. The first few parties )=========================================== OK, so you're a single-job WAR or MNK. You just hit level 9-10, and decided it would be a good moment putting up the party flag. You either hang out in La Theine Plateau, Konschtat or, for Windurstians, Tahrongi Canyon or Giddeus, killing the easiest mobs around and if you're a WAR, probably healing after every second fight. Here are a few steps to remember: - Make sure your equipment is up-to-date - You're a WAR. You DO have an inferno or hellfire axe, don't you? If you're wielding a sword or a great sword, you'd better turn around now and return to the nearest Auction House, because at times there are easily 6-10 other low-level WARs Looking For Group (LFG). Which can mean either two things: you will be disregarded in favour of WARs with a GAxe (because they know what they're doing better than you), or you will get picked by a bad party leader (who, in turn, does not know what he does), and probably everyone is going to die a couple of times. Get a great axe. I mean it. There's no swordsman among the basic jobs in FFXI. Accept it, move on, and strive to be the best at your job. - MNKs should get Lgn. Knuckles OR Royal Archer's Cesti at level 10 (the former does more damage less often than the second one, in a nutshell), and, at level 15, MUST have Republic Knuckles, they're too good not to have. - For WARs, at level 10, it's probably worthwile to spend a few of your conquest points and getting the eq the gate guards of your home city sells - they usually are very nice. It's quite a bit less interesting for MNKs, though. For instance, in Sand'Oria, you could get Royal Archer's Cesti - try to auction for legionnaires' knuckles instead, and if you can't get those, stick to the Brass Knuckles. - Get a ranged weapon. For WAR, a boomerang is ideal, as it doesn't need ammo. MNKs will have to stick to pebbles, and unfortunately they don't stack beyond 12. - See those crags on your map in Konschtat and LaTheine? When you get there, there's a bunch of stairs more or less in the middle of each side. Two of them have crystals, go up to either one and select it. Now when you have to go back to the home town, if you're lucky, you'll be able to hire a WHM to teleport you there for a small amount of gil. Ask for Teleport-Holla (La Theine) or Teleport-Dem (Konshatt) for a quick ride. Now that you have the preparation done, you may get a party invite. Before you hit for the Dunes, mini-parties in LaTheine can actually work surprisingly well. You'll need to team up with a RDM or a WHM. MNK + RDM is great. WAR + WHM is good too. You can probably find other combination, the only rule of thumb being: If there's a WHM in your mini party, you NEED to have a WAR spamming provoke every 30 seconds, else your WHM will be in trouble after the second or third cure. With 2 or 3 person parties, including a healer, you can fight Tough mobs without too much problems, and, provided your healer has enough MP left, even reach XP chains +1 from time to time. If you do, congratulations, you just started learning the most basic parts of Pulling. Remember: As the melee, you're normally the one engaging a new enemy. At this stage, you need to keep an eye on the mages' MP consumption: how many did the last fight remove? Is there enough left for another one while you're all fully healed? Over time, if you're sticking to pulling, you're going to get a feeling on how fast you can start again while the mages are still finishing resting - the farther you are from your camp, the earlier you can pull. It is probably a good practice to set up a macro for pulling if you're in a party with a camp (mainly more than two people), something like this: /p Pulling <t> and fire it off before you actually start the pull. Ideally, if you stick to pulling, you'll want to have two macros, one like above to warn you're about to start pulling, and a second one /range <t> /p Incoming <t> This prevents any confusion in case somebody else claims the monster before you, or a goblin suddenly pops up nearby (it might aggro). Also, I'm told that you can start full parties as early as level 6-7 for instance against the crabs in the lake in La Theine. You can probably kill strolling saplings and lizards in Konschtat in a similar way. While I haven't tried this, I would personally recommend waiting for a WHM7, as they have protect, which will come in handy. =======( 4. Heading for the Dunes )=========================================== -------< 4.1 The Trip >------------------------------------------------------- At level 10-11, when you're fully upgraded with your equipment, it is time to head for the Valkurm Dunes. You will quickly learn to loathe this place, but it is basically a necessary evil. Your biggest problem here is that you will usually get LOTS of competition as a WAR, and often get ignored as a MNK. Trust me, unless you're lucky, you're going to spend lots of time either reading from a book and sometimes veryfing whether someone wants to invite you, or chatting on your LS. The Dunes is a big place, and at your level, there's only one really decent spot where your future party will want to set up a camp: near the exit to Konshatt. The rest is either too dangerous, or there are too many goblins near. Now if your hometown is Bastok, you're lucky. After you zone into the Dunes, go to the left side, and wait for your screen to refresh. There's a flag there with a guard, talk to him and set your home point here. Now /sit and wait patiently until you get an invite. If you're coming in from La Theine, things are going to be a lot less easy. Open your map (you DID buy it, right?) and look at it. The exit to Konschtat is to the South-East, and it's still quite a trip. Before you move, do one thing for which everyone in the zone will be grateful, set up a macro like this: /shout Warning! Train to zone Konschtat!! Sorry! I'll explain why in a few seconds. There are two things which aggro in the zone: goblins and bats. Both are lethal at your level, but you can probably survive a mad dash to the nearest zone if you're fully healed. You should normally be able to walk around the goblins, and don't hesitate to stop and wait until they move a bit. Now on your map, there's a sort of disconnect between the main Dunes and the part close to the Konschtat zone. This is a tunnel, and this is where you might have a problem: There are often bats in there which you can't avoid. If you're alone, try to run past them. If they aggro, make a mad dash for the Konschtat zone to the South-East. This is where the macro you set up before will be useful, so use it at least twice while you're running away. The folks near the zone will thank you for it. And please run towards the left side once the area starts narrowing near the zone to Konschtat. If you've already formed a partial party, when you find bats in the tunnel, have the members with the highest HP run through first (usually you), and the other people following in order from highest to lowest at a 10 seconds interval. If you're a WAR, watch out for the mages' HP: if you got through and they aggro, they probably won't make it to the zone. Stop where you are, wait for the mage to run past, provoke the bats and run like hell. Once you zone, rest, wait about 5 minutes, then zone back alone. Immediately strike to the left, and talk to the guard near the flag to set your HP. If the bats are still there, stay close to the wall and hope they will turn around without seeing you. If they aggro again, zone back. If they have left, call in the rest of your party. Alternatively, if you have a full party, and aggro one single bat while going through the tunnel, run to the end until you're out of it, and now make a stand here, and kill the thing. If your party aggroed two bats, you're out of luck and will still have to zone. Anyway, once you've gotten rid of the bat problem, regroup and stick around the new HomePoint to fill a party, or go find a camp. -------< 4.2 Setting up camp >------------------------------------------------ In the area south of the tunnel, there are several spots where the cliffs form little circles, those are usually good spots. There's one exception, though: when you move Northwards from the Home Point, the second spot like this on your left (South wall) is pretty risky: there are two lizard spawn points very close by. When you fight lizards and one is nearby, they will link together, and all of a sudden, you can find yourself in a battle with two or even three lizards. Something your party can't handle until the average level is 15ish, and will still give you problems if you haven't at least a PLD, a backup tank, and two healers - for the simple reason your PT will lack the sleep spells needed to deal with the situation. For reference, BLM get sleep at level 20, RDM at 25 and BRD a sleep song at 16. Dealing with two lizards at the same time without sleep can be done earlier, provided you have a PLD and a NIN who both know their jobs well. =======( 5. Your Role in the Party )========================================== -------< 5.1 A short introduction to monster hate >--------------------------- Just a few notes here to explain a few very basic things about hate management. When fighting a monster, every player's actions will add to an individual hate counter. The monster will turn its attention to the player which accumulated the most hate - note that this CAN extend to players outside of your PT. How to gain hate (not exhaustive): - Damaging the mob - Provoking - Healing - Certain two-hour abilities, like WHM's benediction or PLD's invincible are the game's most hate-generating effects. You have to be aware that big cures normally gain more hate than damaging the monster, and that BLM spells usually do more damage than physical impact. Getting hit by the monster, on the contrary, lowers hate. With those simple rules in mind (there's more to it, but you can read up on this elsewhere), you can start to understand basic hate management: the fewer cures a healer has to send out, the less hate he gathers. As the healer is the most crucial element to keeping the party alive and well, it is best if he has to focus on only one person, the tank. When things start to get out of hand, the WHM has to dance on the hate threshold, needing to find a balance between keeping the whole PT alive and avoiding gaining too much hate. If he, too, is yet without a subjob, he may lack the experience needed to do it properly. Note that keeping a mob's attention (the Tank's job) is often called "hold hate" and diminishing a mob's interest in you "shed hate". -------< 5.2 Tanking - Overview >--------------------------------------------- Tanking is one of the most crucial aspects of keeping the whole PT alive. The tank keeps a monster's attention throughout the fight, away from the heavy damage dealers (who often in return lack the defense to deal with the mob's attacks for long). If you're a WAR and are adverse to tanking, you should probably switch to another job, preferrably MNK if you want to stick to meleeing. A WAR tank _WILL_ sometimes find himself on the brink of death, and needs to be aware that he may have to go down so that the rest of the party survives. Your fate rests in the hands of the healer, something which can put quite a toll on your nerves, because not all WHM are good at these levels (they too are still learning). Again, if you can't stand the pressure and take a few deaths, WAR is not for you. As long as you're without a subjob, you'll be hampered in tanking because you lack several tools to hold hate - this makes a MNK ill-suited for tanking, yet a good and fully-equipped MNK may often deal so much damage that he steals aggro from the tank - something to keep in mind. A WAR tanks by angering a mob through provoke and then keeping its attention by hurting it enough during the 30 seconds until provoke can be recast that it hates you more than those BLMs who are spelling its behind to the moon and back. Here is again an important point to stress: The Great Axe is a WAR's strongest weapon, and not until much later in your career will there be any viable alternative. A sword or a great sword simply don't deal enough damage to keep hate as good as you can. Remember, parties don't hire you because a sword looks cool on you, they hire you because they need a tank. Tanking roles are normally divided between Main Tank and Backup Tank. In a nutshell, the Main Tank is the one holding a monster's attention, while the backup tank is here to deal with unexpected situations only. Normally, tanking roles distribution is like this, by order of priority: Main Tank priority 1. PLD / WAR 2. WAR / MNK or WAR / NIN * 3. WAR / -- 4. ???/ WAR * This is a specialized setup, which requires good PT timing. Make sure you discuss voking out if you're playing with one of those, they have specialized ways of tanking which require lots of cooperation to be effective. Between two WAR / --- (no subjobs), assuming they're both fully upgraded, the tanking order is GAxe OR Axe+shield main tank (try it out, if the GAxe WAR grabs too much hate, he should be designated main tank). WAR with any other weapon should be backup tank only - they simply cannot compete for hate with the damage a great axe produces. In the rare cases you're partying with a WAR / PLD, you're in trouble. Indeed, most people will immediately go "PLD should tank". A PLD normally tanks by provoking, then curing himself to generate hate. The problem with a WAR / PLD, though, is that he should have enough MP for 4 cures at best, which isn't enough to last or keep him alive. And often, the WHM will simply, and wrongly, ignore him until it's too late. You should probably take main tank here, but you will often be (wrongly) dismissed as a newbie proposing it. Communication is the key here, as is the WAR / PLD's equipment: if he's in PLD gear (with sword + shield), you'll steal hate from him with a Great Axe. Not good. If you die twice in a row with such a party, it's obviously not working out. My advice is to leave if the WAR / PLD is still main tank at that stage, it's simply not worth the trouble. WAR / WHM are referred to as "Buttersheep". While this is a great combination for farming, in party situations, it is an endless source of trouble. Way too often, a WAR / WHM tries to tank like a PLD by voking / curing, and will mess up badly at it. You should definitely take main tank over this guy. 12 NIN / WAR are special cases. While they are rather dedicated to Damage Dealing and debuffing, NIN / WAR combinations are one of the most popular tank alternatives to PLD. They practice what is often called "Blink Tanking": At level 12, they get access to Utsusemi: Ichi. Utsusemi creates 3 (later 4) shadow copies of the NIN, which will each absorb one hit in the player's stead. Blink Tanks thus manage hate by not getting hit while doling out severe damage. However, to be effective, NIN's have to rely heavily on mage debuffs, quick status removal, and have to deal with yet another difficult problem: their Ninjutsu spells are easily interrupted. Cooperating, as a WAR, with a Blink Tank requires lots of synchronization with all party members. More details on this below, under 5.4. At any rate, the tanking order SHOULD always be pointed out before the first pull just to make sure the WHM is focussing on the right guy and two tanks are not trading hate between each other. If this isn't done, you will die. A lot. -------< 5.3 Main Tank >------------------------------------------------------ If you're the only WAR and there's neither PLD nor WAR/MNK in your party, you will be the tank. Your job is simple: as soon as the puller brings in a mob, target it and when it's in range, provoke it. Keep doing that every 30 seconds, and everyone should be fine. If it heads towards the WHM before you can provoke again, don't panic. Make sure the WHM stays where he is (discuss this beforehand if the WHM is new too), he should be able to take 1-2 hits with protect. Follow the mob, hit it, and as soon as you can, provoke again and back away a bit with the monster in tow. Whenever you have enough TP, don't hesistate to use Shield Break at the beginning of the fight after your initial provoke, it's going to shorten the fight quite a bit. You did equip a great axe, didn't you? A note on positionning between fights: assuming you're not the puller and you have a THF in your PT, the ideal positionning looks a bit like this: W * <- Mob will come here after 'Voking T Mages ______ \_________/ This is mainly so that the Thief can do his stuff in the mob's back. They will love you for that. Further, having the mob turn its back to the rest of the party will help with two things: - Certain monster have breath-like attacks which hit an area in front of them. So you, as the tank, will be the only one which is hit. - If the mob turns away from you, it remains in your line of sight the whole time, and provoking it back will immediately return everyone into the starting situation. Don't stand out too far from the mages - your camp is never 100% safe from the occasional goblin, and if one spawns nearby, huddle to the wall and finish your fight there. If the goblin aggros, and the mob you're fighting has at least 1/2 HP left, call everyone to zone. The rest of the party will rush to Konschtat. Now comes the bad part: you will have to hold the mob you were fighting for a few seconds to give the rest of the party a head start. You might die in the process, but fortunately, your home point is close by. If there's a WHM25+ nearby, your party members may try to arrange for a raise, but if they're at a distance, I suggest you simply suck it down, go back to home point, regroup and make the EXP back. It's much faster for everyone including you than to wait 15 minutes for a raise. Useful macros: /ja "Provoke" <t> /p Using <|Provoke|> on <t> /wait 20 /echo Provoke in 10 seconds /wait 10 /echo PROVOKE READY!!! (Note: use the autotranslator in case you have one or more Japanese members in the party) Spam this every 30 seconds. Later, when you have more macros, the /wait won't work properly, so you'd better set up a different macro which summarizes recast times (/recast "Provoke"), which you'll want to hit every couple of seconds. If there's a backup tank in the party, replacing /echo with /p, as it helps both of you synchronize. Another handy macro for when you're not also pulling: /target <bt> /echo Target: <t> As soon as the puller comes back with monster in tow, hit this macro, it will immediately set your target to the right monster. A great time saver. As a MNK, you may sometimes be required to tank. This is a bit problematic, not because you can't take damage (trust me, you can take a LOT of punishment compared to anyone else at this stage), but because you lack the Provoke ability which is normally a must for tanking. Your only tools to keep hate is spamming boost every 15 seconds and hurt the monster so much that it hates you more than everyone else. The latter is in fact pretty easy as your damage over time should be the highest available, but mainly at the beginning, you're going to have trouble holding the monster. If you have to tank for the lack of a WAR, your party needs to adapt. The WHM should use cure sparingly at first, only to keep you in the yellow. At level 15, a THF should wait a bit before launching a Sneak Attack, and the same goes for BLM and RNG before unleashing their stuff. Basically, your party needs to adjust so that the damaging pace is slow during 30-45 seconds after the puller brings the mob in, then people can start raising the pace for a quick finish. The bad news: snippers are going to be an issue to you. -------< 5.4 Backup Tank >---------------------------------------------------- The backup tank is here to support the main tank in cases of emergency. This means one thing: YOU DON'T PROVOKE unless the main tank is in the red. Let me stress it again: Do never provoke unless you need to save the main tank's life. The reason for this is simple: if you provoke at the same time as the main tank, the two of you will compete for hate. If the monster starts switching between two tanks regularly (every time one of you lands a blow), the following will most likely happen: - The WHM will now have to focus on two people for curing, which will drain his MP faster - Since he's sending out more cures, he's going to collect more hate than your provokes and hits can gather - The monster will turn on him, and you will have a really difficult time turning it around even with a provoke - As a consequence, the WHM will start to cure himself, gathering even more hate. Unless the monster is close to death and the party is somehow lucky, the WHM will go down, and you're now all going to die too. Know that if you voked when you shouldn't have, this is entirely your fault. There are a few exceptions you will learn to get a feeling for over time: if the monster starts turning onto the mages within 15 seconds of the main tank's last voke, you should voke yourself. You could voke a bit after the main tank's second voke, then voke a second time about 1 minute later (but the fight should be over by them). But this requires a bit of practice and experience in recognizing how hate management works. Also, don't take this as an absolute rule: as you progress in levels and in power, hate control becomes a bit more complicated. You will have way enough party experience to adapt, though. If you want to get a feeling for how quickly a simple cure gathers hate, I suggest you do this next time you're at your home town for refill and upgrades: switch to WHM and get a few levels. Now find someone who's fighting a carrion worm or equivalent. Cure him from afar, just once, and you should get hit for 10-15 points of damage by a spell. Bottomline: a simple cure can gather more hate than several damaging hits. Always keep that in mind when you're backup tank, and you will do fine. The backup tank's other, most important duty, is to deal with links or goblin pops near camp. When this happens and the PT now fights two mobs, this is what you have to do ASAP: - Hit disengage - Target the second monster - Provoke it - /p "Zoning linked monster" - Run to the nearest zone with the second monster in tow (Konschtat, Selbina or La Theine) - If you can, /shout "Train to zone <name of zone>!" twice or thrice on your way. Instead of disengaging, you can try setting up this macro instead: /ja "Provoke" <stnpc> /p Using <|Provoke|> on <lastst> /p Zoning NOW. The <stnpc> will give you the opportunity to select target with the arrow keys, but I find it often suffers from lag more than retargetting manually and selecting provoke from the menu. Or use your normal voking macro once you did manual targetting after disengaging. In any case, find a manipulation which ideally requires you less than 5 seconds to be on your way as soon as you're aware of the link. Cooperating with a 12NIN/WAR (or higher): As explained in section 5.2, Blink Tanks require a good cooperation level to work well in a party. Normally, they will have their shadows up when the puller brings the monster in, and will get first provoke. Now both they and you as backup tank will have to watch the fast-scrolling chat log for when one of their shadows disappear. If the NIN is smart, he'll macro a message that his last shadow is gone, and that he needs to recast Utsusemi:Ichi. As Utsusemi has a high spell failure rate, the backup tank needs to voke the monster off of him, as NIN are usually geared up for full damage and can't take hits very well. In the meantime, the healer needs to have been keeping attentive, as it is now the backup tank which takes the damage. Utsusemi:Ichi takes 4 seconds to cast, and once it's up, the NIN should normally quickly deal enough damage to get the mob's attention again (or he'll voke). Don't provoke again until the last shadow is gone, because as soon as the new batch is up, the healer will want to focus on the NIN again. Ninjutsu abilities are quite expensive, too, so if you're somehow making them throw away valuable money because you voke at the wrong times, they will get pretty annoyed with you really fast. To close this section, as you will have noticed, there's exactly one method to get a party with several potential tanks to be effective: Talk things out before you start. If there's too much bickering and the party leader doesn't step in, I suggest you don't take more than two consecutive deaths due to a lack of cooperation. Leaving (politely ;) and going to farm while looking for another invite is probably going to be much more constructive for you, and may help a struggling party to find a better balance. -------< 5.5 Melee Damage Dealer >-------------------------------------------- For MNKs: Your job is easy as pie at these levels: have a boost macro, spam it out between fights and whack the monster for 2-10 damage every hit. Boost before launching combo. DON'T include a /p message in your boost macro. To be more efficient, you can set up this macro: /assist "name of main tank here" and hit it when the fight starts. When you reach level 13, you'll get the weapon ability "Shoulder Tackle" on Hand to Hand. One use of it would be to create a skillchain with the WAR: Shoulder Tackle => Shield Break for Great Axe Shoulder Tackle => Raging Axe for axe wielders Discuss it out beforehand, though, as at these levels, the GAxe wielder would rather kick Shield Break out asap to shorten the whole fight. You can also do Combo => Raging Axe with an axe wielder. As you're always going first in these early skillchains, set up a macro like this: /p Get ready for <|Skillchain|> in 2 seconds /wait 2 /p Starting <|Skillchain|> with <|Shoulder Tackle|> NOW. **or Combo** /ja "Shoulder Tackle" <t> **or Combo, of course** I suggest training it out against Tough or Very Tough monsters first. The WAR must launch his own WS 3 seconds after the message "Yourname readies Shoulder Tackle" appears on the chat log. See section 5.8 below for more SC tips, and adapt your macros for situations where you take second place in a SC. The other use for Shoulder Tackle, however, often trumps early SkillChains: When fighting goblins (and you will, trust me), whenever you see that the goblin readies bomb toss, launch a Shoulder Tackle asap. If you manage to get it in time, the gob will drop the bomb, saving a LOT of damage to all people around. For WARs: Just whack away. Eat Meat Mithkabobs and kick out Berserk at level 15 if you can. Your biggest issue is actually that you risk doling out too much damage and stealing aggro off the tank, so you'll want to cancel out Berserk often (hit + twice on your keyboard, select the Berserk icon on top and hit enter), as it hurts your defence when the mob's attention is on you. Again, there's a fine balance to find between dishing out damage to finish off fights quickly, hate control in the party, and the healer's MP. There's not much I can write here which will replace experience you need to get by playing the game. -------< 5.6 Pulling >-------------------------------------------------------- Usually, there will be a couple of options available for pulling, but if everyone is new, many people will shy away from it. From what I've seen, pulling either falls to mainly WAR or THF, but at these low levels, a MNK is equally good at it. Get healed up and protect, then go out looking for Very Tough or Incredibly Tough monsters (get lizards as a priority, or bats, occasionally, you can take on a goblin). If you can, don't pull anything with BOTH high evasion and high defense on your first three-four pulls until your party starts feeling comfortable working together. Also don't rush for EXP chains at the beginning - everyone needs to settle into their roles and do a bit of a warming up. Standard pulling advice: - Before pulling, keep an eye on the mages' MP, and if they have to rest, wait. - Set up a macro "/p Luring <t>", fire it off just before you start the pull - As a WAR, NEVER pull with provoke, you'll mess up the hate management. Why? Provoke has a pretty short range, which means you're probably going to get hit on your way back. While you get hit, you actually lose hate. So when you get back to camp, you're going to need a few cures to compensate the damage you've been taking, and this may already tip hate over to the WHM before the fight has started in earnest, and before your provoke timer has run off. - As a consequence, pull with a ranged attack. - As soon as you have the mob's attention, run back to camp with it in toe. If you had to enter attack mode beforehand, unlock the monster (hit "*" on the num pad or the button you normally use for resting once) until you're back to camp, then turn around, relock and start fighting. - If you're pulling as main tank, make a circle while incoming and run a bit past the THF, like this: 1. Incoming path 2. Battle Position \ \ T T*W Mages Mages - At these early levels, play it safe. It's better to miss EXP chains than to get everone killed. Xess on the allakhazam WAR forum shares this advice on pulling: "I notice that alot of newer players take too long to pull and wait around unecessarily. Also, the newer mages sometimes seem very paranoid and keep on requesting the puller to wait until his/her mp is full before pulling. Well, here are my tips for newbie pullers: First of all, preferably, you have some sort of ranged weapon. A boomerang or a bow is best. Using provoke is not a good way to pull because you have to get too close to use provoke. And you will take hits on your way back to camp as a result. It's also good to have a high throwing/archery/marksmanship skill when pulling. If you miss your ranged attack and pull the mob past resting mages, chances are the mages are going to get aggroed because resting does generate some kind of hate. Second, as the puller, you set the pace for the party. You're responsible for finding mobs quickly and bringing the enemy back to camp. Now, observe the mages MP at the start of the battle, and check it again at the end of the battle. You will now get an idea of how much MP they consume per battle. Mages will recharge 70-90 per minute, so estimate how much mana they will regain when you go out to search for a mob and pull it back to camp. If the mages mana is rather low then, pull an easier mob. If the mages are full, or if the Skillchainers have TP charged, pull a harder one. Do this to keep the XP chain going. Use your discretion whether it is viable to continue the chain, or stop for a rest and restart the chain over. Third, you may get requests from the mages to wait for them to recharge mp. Don't worry about them, just go out and look for something to pull first. Help set the pace for the mages. But whatever it is, the White Mage's mana is more important than the Black Mage's. The Black Mage can afford to sit through most of the battle, only needing to stand up near the end to offload nukes. The White Mage however, will need to stand earlier. Some of the newer mages tend to overspend their mana and have very inefficient management of mana. I notice mages who like to stand up and toss alot of Cure I's after battle, when they really should be resting. Pulling quickly will teach them to manage their mana more efficiently. They will find that they tend to have no mana most of the time and will quickly adapt and learn to manage their mana more efficiently, maximise their resting time and minimize redundant healing and spells." -------< 5.7 Food >----------------------------------------------------------- If you can afford it, buy a stack of meat mithkabobs. They last 30 minutes and increase your damage output. You won't regret it. I'd advise against Fish Mithkabob for tanking WARs at these levels, as it will put a dent into your ability to deal damage - which is vital to help you keep hate until you get a subjob. Also, note that fish and meat mithkabobs don't stack for double bonusses, they cancel each other out. In a similar fashion, later on, when you get Defender, Berserk and Defender anull each other, so stacking them doesn't work. NSX shared a nifty tactic on allakhazam, which I'll include here even if it goes beyond the scope of this guide: "What happens is if you use Defender your Defense goes up by a percentage and your attack goes down by the same percentage. Great you have improved defense but lower attack (Very good for hard hitting mobs with double attack, i.e Goblin Smithys). Berserk is the opposite, it raises attack by a percentage and lowers defense by the same percentage (Very good for pounding on a mob, when you are NOT tanking). If defender is active and you use berserk they Don't cancel each other out. If that was the case defender would be removed and you would be in berserk mode. Instead they combine and basically put you in normal state. And it is a good thing they do not cancel each other out. This allows for you to do some good things for the party. Example: You are tanking a hard hitting mob so you want defender up. Well the fight goes on and it is time to Skill Chain. Instead of hitting a mob with a weak Weapon Skill due to Defender decreasing attack, you throw up Berserk and your attack (and defense) will go to normal. Use the Weapon Skill, which will do more damage now that berserk has put your attack back to normal, and then cancel out berserk to remove it so only defender is now active. Now you did mass damage with the WS and you have defender still up to tank the hard hitting mob." For MNK food, there's one single choice: eat Meat Mithkabobs exclusively. -------< 5.8 Skillchain Timing >---------------------------------------------- The key to setting up Skillchains is synchronization. First and foremost, you need to discuss what you will try before you start, and skill order. To synchronize in-battle, it is good to set up "TP Ping macros" for the skillchain members, for instance: /p <|Skillchain|> #1 - - - TP: <tp> Obviously replace 1 by 2 if you come second in the chain. Use this macro from time to time to synchronize both SC participants. Once both melees are above 100% TP, you can kick off the SC (see section 5.5 above for suitable macros). For magic bursts, the only SC you can use between a MNK and a WAR are wind- based, because they get a thunder spell at level 21, which is outside the scope of this guide. You can set up other SCs for magic bursts with other classes, though: Iron Tempest => Burning Blade (Fire) with a PLD, Tachi: Hobaku => Shoulder Tackle (Wind + Thunder) with a SAM Flaming Arrow => Combo (Fire + Light) with a RNG Burning Blade / Red Lotus Blade => Combo / Shoulder Tackle (Fire and Light) with a PLD Shield Break => Gust Slash (Wind) with eg a THF Those are some samples. Have a Renkei chart handy when setting up SCs. Don't try to focuss everything on creating SCs at the expense of survival, though. A WAR's Shield Break is often more valuable as an opener or against high evasion mobs than in a skillchain. In a similar fashion, a Shoulder Tackle which cancels out a Goblin Bomb is tremendously useful. You'll get to create terrific skillchains soon enough. -------< 5.9 Leaving >-------------------------------------------------------- Try to give early warning before you leave, the rest of the party will thank you for it, and if the leader isn't too dumb, he will start to look for a replacement asap. Don't forget to thank everyone before leaving - you will need people remembering you as a competent player AND a nice guy to increase your chance of getting an invite next time they're looking. Remember, as a melee with no sub, we're usually the underdogs with LOTS of competition when a party forms. Out of the puny 15+ parties I've played in so far, over half were with people I had already partied with previously, and I usually got invited upon their recommendation. =======( 6. Dunes Camp suggestions )========================================== Level 10-13: South of Tunnel, Lizards, bats and the occasional goblin Level 12-16: Beaches, snippers and goblins, make sure everyone gets those crab aprons eventually. Level 14-18: Anywhere, really. Snippers, goblins, and damselflies should be your priority. Don't camp too close to another party, getting double battle spam in your chat window makes it really hard to pick out vital things. Note that the Goblin Leechers, Muggers and Gamblers are much tougher than the rest. Ghouls should be saved off for level 17+, they come in WAR or BLM variants, and can be really dangerous. Bogys should be avoided at all costs. You'll need magicked skulls to complete the subjob quests. They are rare drops by Ghouls, and can be a pain to get. Moving over to Gusgen mines would raise your chances for that, or, if you die in the process, try to ask some of your LinkShell friends if they can spare the time and get you one. =======( 7. Can't find any parties? Walk in the other job's shoes )=========== Waiting in the Dunes can sometimes take a loooong time, and bore you senseless. Instead, you can either go solo in Konschtat for a bit (don't worry, you'll still show up on any potential leader's Find Members list). If you get an invite, know that mages usually tend to be picky and join only when the leader has most essential slots filled. If you're really bored, however, you could do something completely different: swap your job around. MNK and WAR are pretty much complementary for quite a while. Yes, getting XP to reach level 18 is probably better if you're really in a hurry, but sometimes, I find it much less boring to level up another job than to sit around in the Dunes for hours. Or pimp out and switch to WHM, you'll be at level 18 in a jiffy. But do everyone a favour if you do that: do your darnest best to be a GOOD WHM if you do. =======( 8. Further Resources )=============================================== To understand more about party dynamics and get a good insight on how the other jobs work, I recommend SaboCactuar's Beginner's Partying Guide on www.gamefaqs.com At the same place, you'll eventually want to read Uteki's Hate Control Guide, which gives more insight into this topic. And finally, ffxi.allakhazam.com has forums dedicated specifically to WAR and MNK, which is stock-full of high- quality information. =======( 9. Credits and Acknowledgements )==================================== This FAQ owes much to the GameFAQS community, even more to the folks over at the ffxi.allakhazam.com WAR forum, and of course to all the people who've taken me on their parties, putting up with my limitations. Credits go to all of the WAR FAQs on allakhazam, SaboCactuar's Beginner's Partying Guide, Uteki's Hate Control Guide, as well as RazMasters, Lady Seryn, NSX and XESS on the allakhazam WAR forum who provided direct feedback on this. On the gamefaqs side, HyperTailsMan pointed out better SC examples, while Arag0rn pointed out some wordings to clear out.