Final Fantasy XI
General Party Strategies Guide
c. 2003 Tristan Baletori
ver. 1.00


----------------
*1A Introduction
----------------
Hello and thank you for reading my guide to effective partying in the world of
Vana'diel.  In this guide, I will show you some of the tips and tricks I have
learned during my time playing this great game!  I have broken this guide down
into sections, first for general parties and then by job class.  At this time
I have not added any of the advanced classes, since by the time you're able to
take an advanced class (level 30) you should already have mastered most of the
things in this guide.

---------------------
*1B Table of Contents
---------------------
The best way to use this guide is by reading it in its entirety.  However, if
you wish to only view the section for your particular class, you can use the
'Find' function on your web browser and search for the index number for the
section you wish to view.  For instance, if you wish to return to this table of
contents, use the 'Find' function and search for *1B and you should be
returned to this section.

*1A - Introduction
*1B - Table of Contents

*2A - How a Party Works
*2B - Things to Remember

*3A - Tips by Role: Tanks
*3B - Tips by Role: Healers
*3C - Tips by Role: Damage Dealers
*3D - Tips by Role: Support

*4A - Tips by Job Class: Warrior
*4B - Tips by Job Class: Monk
*4C - Tips by Job Class: Thief
*4D - Tips by Job Class: Red Mage
*4E - Tips by Job Class: White Mage
*4F - Tips by Job Class: Black Mage

*5A - Effective Use of Macros

*6A - Skill Chains and Magic Bursts

*7A - Closing

---------------------
*2A How a Party Works
---------------------
Depending on your job class, by the time you reach level 9-10, you should
begin looking for a party to join.  Reason being, after about that point you
will be able to obtain far more experience points in a group than you would
soloing, due to a party's ability to get 'kill chains'.  Many people are
confused about how the experience system actually works in a party, so I will
explain.

You are a level 11 White Mage (WHM) in a party.  Your party members consist of
a level 13 Warrior (WAR), a level 11 Red Mage (RDM), a level 11 Thief (THF), a
level 12 Monk (MNK) and a level 10 Black Mage (BLM).  A good variety of jobs.
Your party has just successfully defeated a Goblin Tinkerer, which was
an 'Even Match' for your party.  Now, if within the span of one minute, you
begin to fight an 'Even Match' or tougher monster and you defeat that monster,
you will have created a kill chain and will receive a small bonus to the amount
of XP (experience points) you receive.  You can continue to chain monsters of
'Even Match' or higher toughness to further increase your chain and the amount
of bonus XP you receive.  

In the above example, not everyone would receive the same amount of XP per 
kill.  The level 13 WAR would receive the most XP because he is the 
highest-leveled member of the party, while the BLM at level 10 would receive
the least.  This is something to keep in mind when you are creating or joining
a party.  With those 3 levels between the highest and lowest members, the XP
difference won't be huge.  However, the more you increase the gap the less
the lowest members receive.  Ideally you'll be in a party with no more than two
levels between the lowest and highest members, else you'll definitely see an XP
decrease.  This only applies to early levels, the higher you go the wider the 
'acceptable gap' becomes.  But early on this is a good rule of thumb to follow.

The following is a link to a truly awesome in-depth guide on how the math of XP
works in a party.  The link was sent to me by Kythlyn and the guide was written
by Original_Red_Monika of the IGN FFXI forum:
     http://vnboards.ign.com/message.asp?topic=60167891&replies=20
You won't find a better explaination of the XP system than that one, so if you
are interested, head over and check it out!

Another important thing to keep in mind is that you CAN take chain-killing too
far.  Don't pull a monster when your mages are almost out of magic points (MP)
just for the sake of getting one more chain.  It's not worth it, and if you die
you'll lose more XP than you would gain.  I will explain some strategies for
conserving MP later.

A good party is a beautiful thing to see. Everyone works in coordination with
everyone else, kills are smooth and quick, and nobody dies.  However, it takes
a lot of planning ahead to reach that level of teamwork.  The first thing a new
party should do is designate roles.  That way, nobody in the party is stepping
on anyone else's toes during a battle.  A good party should have the following,
at minimum:

Puller
     Someone to aggro (cause a monster to become aggressive to the party)
     and initiate the fight.  Should be someone with high defence, to take
     those initial few hits.  A puller will run out into the field away from
     where the party is camping, aggro a monster, and run back to the party
     leading the monster to them.  Therefore, it should be someone who can
     take at least a few hits before being healed, or who can dodge hits
     well.  Warriors are the standard pullers because they can pull with 
     their 'Provoke' skill, but it has been suggested to me that thieves
     can make decent pullers too, because of their high evade rate.  I'd
     still rather have my warrior pull, but I could certainly see the merit
     of having a thief pull, provided the Tank (see below) can take the
     aggro from the monster quickly.

Tank
     Someone to take the bulk of the damage in the battle, making it easier
     for the healer to focus his/her efforts and making sure that the
     physically weak mages don't get hit.  This person is usually the puller
     as well, and to be an effective tank, he/she practically MUST be some
     degree of WAR, for the WAR's ability 'Provoke'.

Healer
     The person in charge of keeping everyone else alive.  Usually this is
     the job of a WHM, although RDM can be an effective healer in a pinch.
     However, an ideal party will have at least one person in charge of main
     healing, with a backup healer if needed.

Debuffer
     Member in charge of inflicting every status ailment and disability 
     possible on the monster.  RDM makes an excellent debuffer, and both BLM
     and WHM have debuffs (enfeebling spells) as well.  Generally falls under
     the 'Support' category.

Damage Dealer
     This probably shouldn't be your tank, as WARs typically don't do as
     much damage as some other classes are capable of.  BLMs are excellent
     damage dealers with their nuke spells.  MNKs are basically a physical
     version of BLMs.  THFs have excellent abilities such as Sneak Attack
     and Trick Attack.  Remember, it's never a bad thing to deal TOO much
     damage, just be careful how quickly you deal it so that you don't
     accidentally take aggro from the tank.  Also, while WARs won't deal
     the kind of damage a BLM can, for instance, they do contribute damage
     to the monster at an appreciable rate.  So, while a party lacking any
     other damage dealer besides WARs won't be able to take on prey quite
     as tough as if they had a BLM, a MNK, or a THF, they can still be
     a very effective party nonetheless.

Support	
     Generally this job involves buffing the party, minimising damage, and
     filling in with one of the main roles when needed.  RDMs do a great
     job, while WHMs have great group-wide defence spells.  The most important
     buffs are undoubtedly Protect and Shell, as they minimise damage taken by
     the party.

When a new party comes together for the first time, before your first battle
everyone should discuss these roles and decide who is doing what.  If you have
two WHMs, one should be designated primary healer while the other casts debuffs
and then rests to restore MP.  Then in the next battle switch roles so the
other WHM can rest.  If you have more than one tank, have one designated as
primary tank and the other as secondary.  The primary tank will be using his
'Provoke' every 30 seconds, while the secondary tank will conserve his
'Provoke' and use it if the situation calls for it.  Planning things out ahead
of time will prevent mishaps where both WHMs cast a cure II on the same party
member, or where two people pull and the party is forced to fight two monsters
at once.  Planning is essential.

----------------------
*2B Things To Remember
----------------------
These are just a few points that it is important to remember if you want to be
a successful and helpful party member.  Please keep in mind these are only
suggestions, but they are suggestions that WILL help you win more battles.

1. Stay current with the best spells and equipment you can wear at your level.
   Many is the time I've seen WARs with level 20 weapons, but level 7 or lower
   armour.  If your armour is sufficient, it will make your healer's job
   easier.  Same for mages, your higher level spells will become more and more
   crucial as you take on harder and harder monsters.  So even though it may
   cost a great deal now, it's worth it!

2. Don't be afraid to use your '2 Hour' special ability.  Too many players save
   these abilities, thinking they're only for emergencies.  While I wouldn't
   suggest you waste these abilities, they're not doing any good unused.  In
   an effective party, my WHM character can safely use his Benediction skill
   without drawing the aggro from the tank, but only if my tank has been using
   'Provoke' nonstop every 30 seconds.

3. Don't forget your role!  Once you've discussed roles with your group, don't
   deviate from that unless the situation is an emergency or you tell the group
   in advance.

4. Don't bite off more than you can chew.  Chains are fun and profitable, but
   not at the expense of the party.  When in doubt about that 'Incredibly
   Tough' Ghoul, err on the side of caution.

-----------------------
*3A Tips by Role: Tanks
-----------------------
As a tank, you are CRUCIAL to the survival of your party.  You're the one who's
going to be taking all the damage, and if you do your job right the weaker
mages will never be hit more than once in a battle.

The key to being a successful tank is your 'Provoke' ability.  If you don't use
that ability AND USE IT RIGHT, you're not doing your job.  Too many times have
I partied with tanks who thought that they were supposed to conserve their
'Provoke' and only use it when the monster turns its attention to someone else.
Not so.  Aggro works on a counter system.  The more you do and the more
effective you are in the party, the more 'hate' the moster gives you.  A low
level debuff like 'Blind' is only going to add a miniscule amount of hate to
your hidden meter, whereas casting a Curaga spell is going to really crank it
up.  You as a tank should use your 'Provoke' every 30 seconds unfailingly.  If
you do this, you will always have more hate in your hidden meter than anyone
else, and the monster should never turn away from you.  In other words, have
'Provoke' on a macro!  If you don't, your mages are dead.  Period.  This is a
good macro to use:

/p Provoking <t>!!
/ja Provoke <t>
/wait 20
/echo Provoke ready in 10 seconds!
/echo Provoke ready!!

What this does is first alert your party that you are provoking the target.
Then you fire off your provoke and the game begins to count off 20 seconds.
When that time has passed you'll see a 10-second reminder, then it alerts
you and only you that 'Provoke' is ready to be used again.  When you see this
message, hit your macro again.  Your mages will love you!

Also, and I can't say this enough...make sure your weapons and armour are
current!  Better defence means your healer won't have to heal you as often,
which means less MP consumption, which means more chain-kills before you need
to rest, which means more XP.  And everyone loves more XP.  ^^

-------------------------
*3B Tips by Role: Healers
-------------------------
Healers are the lifeblood of the party.  Your MP is their HP.  Every party MUST
have a healer of some nature, or be willing to fight only weak monsters and
have a LOT of downtime.  WHMs are hands down the best healers, though RDMs have
good healing magic too.

Playing the role of healer can get pretty boring.  After all, all you do is
fire off Cure after Cure, and you don't even get to watch the battle because
you can't take your eyes off the HP bars.  Fortunately, you're always going
to be in demand and shouldn't have trouble getting into a party.

The biggest mistake I see new healers make is overusing Cure II.  There are two
reasons why you shouldn't use Cure II over Cure.  First, it's no more efficient
as one Cure costs 8 MP for a gain of ~30 HP.  A Cure II costs 24 MP for a gain
of ~90 HP.  Three Cures cost the same as one Cure II and heal about the same.
The other reason you shouldn't favour Cure II is it adds a lot of hate to your
counter, and you could well pull aggro away from the tank if you overuse it.
As a general rule, I only cast Cure when someone's bar is in the yellow, and I
only cast Cure II if they're at 50% health or less and are getting hit hard.

It's very important that you have your Cures macroed.  The best way I've found
is to do it as follows.

On the first row, the first six slots (either CTRL or ALT, your choice) should 
be set up like this:

/p Casting Cure on <p0>!
/ma Cure <p0>

<p0> Targets yourself, <p1> through <p5> target the people below your HP bar in
the list, in that order.  Make sure the first six slots are set up for <p0> to
<p5>.  In the next macro row, I'd have this:

/p Casting Cure II on <p0>!
/ma "Cure II" <p0>

Again, repeat in the next slots for <p1> through <p5>.  At the end of each row
I usually keep Benediction and Divine Seal, and in the 3rd macro row I keep my
other spells like Shellra, Protectra and Curaga.  My Cures are all on my CTRL
macros, so for my ALT macros I keep all my debuffs and attack spells, as well
as Cure on target, Protect on target, and Shell on target for when I'm soloing
and someone needs my help.  I like to think of myself as honour-bound to help
anyone in need if I am able to do so.  I figure it's good karma.  ^^

Another (perhaps superior) method for macroing your cures, especially if you
are using a PS2 controller like I am, is as follows:

/ma Cure <stpc>
/p Casting Cure on <lastst>!

This will minimise the number of slots your macros use, and if you're on a
controller, by using this macro you will get a targeting arrow next to your 
name in the HP bars list.  Press up or down to scroll through the names of 
your party member in order, and cure on the person you wish to heal.  It's
faster and more efficient.  If you're on a keyboard, you can use this in
conjunction with the F1-F6 keys to target, or you can simply use:

/ma Cure <t>
/p Casting Cure on <t>!

--------------------------------
*3C Tips by Role: Damage Dealers
--------------------------------
As a damage-dealer, you will hit hard and hit fairly often.  The rest of the
party is there pretty much to support you while YOU take down the monster.
Damage Dealers are usually BLMs, MNKs, THFs, to a degree WARs, and sometimes
RDMs.  

If you are a spell-casting damage-dealer, it is important to remember that
big nukes generate lots of hate, so try to space your spells out a little so
that the tank doesn't have as much trouble maintaining hate.  Fire off too
many big damaging spells too quickly and you'll make the tank's and healer's
jobs that much more difficult.

If you are more of a physical type, you'll still need to watch out that you
don't pull hate away from the tank.  If by some chance you do grab the
monster's attention, stop what you're doing and just stand there until the
tank gets control of the situation again.  As a THF, you'll really come into
your own once you get your Trick and Sneak attacks, which you should use to
their fullest extent (once you have them).  And once you get your 'Hide'
ability at level 45, you'll be able to reset all the hate directed at you
to zero.  And clearly, for ANY damage-dealing job, it's important to have
all your relevant skills macroed for quick use.

-------------------------
*3D Tips by Role: Support
-------------------------
'Support' is sort of a catch-all category.  You're not taking damage as a tank,
you aren't dealing damage like a MNK or BLM would, and you aren't acting as the
primary healer.  Instead, you're either acting as a backup for those roles or
you are doing other little things to support the party.  The always-useful
debuffs and backup-healing capacity of the RDM job comes to mind.  Yours is a
fun task because you will change roles several times in a battle.  Just try
your best to be wherever you're most needed at any given time, and you'll be
surprised how often you save the day.  And again, mind your macros!

------------------------------
*4A Tips by Job Class: Warrior
------------------------------
Not much more can be said beyond what was covered in section 3A, but I feel I
should stress again how important your 'Provoke' is to the party.  Always make
sure you are on the front lines pounding away, and always trust your healer(s)
to save you should you get low on HP.  Meaning, if you're in danger of dying,
that doesn't mean you should stop provoking (unless your healer is out of MP.)
If that's the case, try to share aggro with another tank.  A good healer will 
have you up and running again almost immediately.  Also, make sure that you
and the other melee members of your group have set up a skillchain (renkei)
and that you know your places in the chain.  WARs are a dime a dozen, 
but a truly good WAR is a rare treasure.  Be proud of your job and what you 
do for your party!

---------------------------
*4B Tips by Job Class: Monk
---------------------------
MNKs really come into their own at higher levels.  Often times you'll probably
be wondering "What good am I even doing for the party?"  Just be patient and
see it through and you'll be amazed how effective you can really be later on.
If you are taking the path of a MNK, I would recommend you subclass WAR when
you can.  This will give you a bit of a defensive and HP bonus and allow you
to use that almighty 'Provoke', allowing you to serve as backup tank in case
the main tank is down or disabled.  Also, don't forget to 'Boost' whenever you
can!  It'll seriously amplify the amount of damage you can deliver!  You
should definitely have 'Boost' on a macro, and use it often.

----------------------------
*4C Tips by Job Class: Thief
----------------------------
THFs have amazing damage-dealing potential after they reach level 15 and get
their Sneak Attack.  Always try to stay behind the monster and use your Sneak
Attack when you can.  Later on when you get Trick Attack, you can use it in
combination with Sneak attack for some truly fierce damage.  Just be sure to
coordinate with your party so that you can set up that Trick Attack, which
requires you have a party member standing between you and the monster.  Parties
will REALLY love you for your Treasure Hunter ability, since it helps get rare
drops to...well, drop.  This REALLY helps in getting the items needed for the
sub-job quests, for example.

-------------------------------
*4D Tips by Job Class: Red Mage
-------------------------------
Early on in the game, RDMs seem to have a hard time settling on a role.  You
make a reasonably good healer, a reasonably good damage-dealer with your black
magic, and you hit decently hard with your physical attacks.  However, the true
role of the RDM class is debuff and backup healer.  You get some great RDM-only
spells, and you've always got those tasty Cures handy.  And at level 41 you can
learn the white magic spell 'Refresh' which is like the spell 'Regen' except
that it slowly regenerates MP instead of HP... VERY handy!  ^^  Just be aware
that at later levels, you'll start doing significantly less melee damage than
a true melee class is doing.  You're the Jack-of-all-trades/master-of-debuff.
Fill in wherever you see a gap in the party, but always make sure to keep those
debuffs up!

---------------------------------
*4E Tips by Job Class: White Mage
---------------------------------
If there's a WHM in the party, he/she should ALWAYS be designated main healer.
If there are two WHMs, you should take turns resting and healing, this way
the party can chain more kills.  As a WHM, if nobody needs healing and you
don't need to throw out a 'Slow' or 'Paralyze' or the like, sit down and rest.
Park it.  Unleash your inner couch potato.  If you're not needed for curing
(i.e. everyone's HP is in the white) you should be sitting and restoring MP.
Always.  Because when a goblin throws out a Bomb Toss and you're down to 
14 MP, you're really going to be kicking yourself.  Always make sure everyone
in the party is Protectra'd and Shellra'd, use your Bar- spells as the current
situation calls for it, and throw out a debuff every once in a while. You must
also try to stay back as far from the battle as you can while still being able
to cast, so that you avoid the area of effect (AOE) of any spells the monster
may cast.  And of course, at level 25 you can learn one of the most important
spells in the game: Raise.  Prepare to become VERY popular.  ^^

---------------------------------
*4F Tips by Job Class: Black Mage
---------------------------------
Not much to say, really.  Your job is simple.  Nuke.  Hit the enemies hard,
just not too often.  Be aware of elemental strengths and weaknesses and try
to exploit them.  And be VERY careful when you cast a -ga spell (i.e. Stonega)
because you can easily pull other nearby monsters into the fight.  Whereas
for a WHM MP = HP, your MP = dead enemies.  Sit whenever you can between your
fights while the puller is off pulling, and try to stand back from the battle
so you're out of the enemy's spell (AoE).  And remember that if you start
doing too much damage too quickly, you could easily pull aggro from the tank.
So, space your spells out some, and make sure you've coordinated with the
melee characters in your party as to what the skillchain (renkei) is, and
what element you should try magic-bursting.  I'll explain renkei and burst
later.  ^^

---------------------------
*5A Effective Use of Macros
---------------------------
Setting up macros and using them correctly is one of the best ways to help
your party out.  Tanks should always have 'Provoke' macroed, healers should
have their Cures and debuffs, BLMs should have their spells, etc.  Basically,
whatever you use often or would need to use quickly should be macroed.

Macros can be confusing at first, so I will show list the important 'tags'
and explain their use.  Everything in a macro is case-sensative.

/p - Everything after this tag will be reported to the party.

/ja - Activates a Job Ability.

/ma - Activates a Magic Ability (a spell).

/ws - Activates a Weapon Skill.

/echo - Everything after this tag will be reported only to you. For instance,
        /echo Hi! would display Hi! to you but nobody else.

/wait # - Tells the game to wait a certain number of seconds before executing
          the next line of the macro (replace # with anything from 0-20).

/emote - Everything after this tag will be reported as an action.  For
         instance, /emote wants to attack this <t> will show as:
         Yourname wants to attack this Bull Dhalmel.

<p0>-<p5> - Targets your party.  You are always p0 since you always appear
            at the top of the HP bar list.  p1 is the person below you in
            the list, p2 is the person after them (3rd in the list) and so
            on.  Used mainly for Cures.

/ta - Selects a target, used with the parameters <t>, <st>, <stpc>, <stnpc>,
      <bt>, <me>, <p0> - <p5>, etc.

<t> - Indicates whatever you're targetting.  If you're currently targetting
      a Bull Dhalmel, it will replace <t> with that Bull Dhalmel.  For
      example /ma Blind <t> will cast 'Blind' on whatever you're targetting.

<st> - Subtarget.  Great for WHM macros.  Say you've got the enemy you're
       fighting currently targetted and you want to cure a member of your
       party without losing the target on the enemy, you'd use the following:
       
       /ma Cure <st>
       
       This will allow you to Tab between your party members and anyone else
       in the vicinity (for instance, alliance members) until you have
       activated the Cure spell, then you will return to the monster you were
       targetting before.

<stnpc> - Same as the above, but it only allows you to Tab through NPCs in
          the area.

<stpc> - Same as the above, but it only allows you to Tab through the members
         of your party.

<lastst> - Replaces itself with the name of the last party-member/mob you used
           the <st> command on.  Useful for cure macros using <st>.

<bt> - This stands for battle target, and will target the creature your party
       is currently engaging.

<hp> - Displays your current HP as a ratio, for instance 192/308.
<hpp> - Displays your current HP as a percentage, for instance 81%.

<mp> - Displays current MP as a ratio, 89/124.
<mpp> - Displays current MP as a percentage, 34%.

<tp> - Displays Tech Points as a percentage, 244%.


Spells and abilities should be typed exactly the way they appear in your
ability screen.  Capitolise the first letter of a word and the rest are
lower-case.  For an ability with more than one word in the name, surround
it in " quotation marks.  For example:

     /ma Cure <p0>
     /ma "Fire II" <t>

Spells and abilities that effect the entire party should probably be centred
on yourself, for example:

     /ja Benediction <p0>
     /ma Protectra <p0>

Before you cast those spells or abilities, try to tell your party to gather
around you first, so everyone is within the AOE.

A very useful macro everyone should have is a report of your current status.
combat-types should keep your HP and TP there, and mages should report MP.
This would be for a warrior:

     /p Current HP <hp> for <hpp>.  TP is at --- <tp>!

It would read like this:

     <Yourname> Current HP 192/192 for 100%.  TP is at --- 89%!

Because TP is such an important thing for the other combat-types to know,
I usually put a few dashes in and make sure it's at the end of the line so
it is most visible.

Caster-types would set up their report macro something like this:

     /p Current MP <mp> for --- <mpp>!

On screen it would look like this:

     <Yourname> Current MP 83/204 for --- 41%!

---------------------------------
*6A Skill Chains and Magic Bursts
---------------------------------
I've decided not to include this information in this present version, as there
is a renkei/skillchain/magic-burst FAQ currently being hosted on GameFAQs.
However, if the need for such information presents itself, I will add it here.

-----------
*7A Closing
-----------
First the legal nonsense.  This Guide is copyright to me, Tristan Baletori
(aka SaboCactuar).  It is intended strictly for personal use and may be stored
and printed only for such use.  If you charge money for access to this Guide
or give it away as an incentive to purchase anything, you are in violation
of copyright law, and I will make sure that law is upheld.  I have granted
permission for several sites to host this file, however www.gamefaqs.com
will always have the most current version.  Should you wish to host this
Guide on your site, you may contact me to request it, but it will be your
responsibility to make certain you have the most current version.  This is my
intellectual property, and I have worked hard to bring useful information to
everyone who reads this Guide, so if you use my work in any way that I do not
specifically permit in this section, you are stealing my work.  If I DO permit
you to host this guide elsewhere, you must do so under the provision that you
will not alter this work in any way, and you will maintain it in its entirety.

I would like to thank GameFAQs for being such an awesome resource for gamers,
and I'd like to thank the folks who post on the GameFAQs FFXI forum as well,
since you guys were the ones who inspired me to write this Guide.  I also want
to thank a lot of the people on Fairy Server, who gave me really good ideas
and suggestions for what to add to this Guide.  Fairy rules!

The following people have sent me corrections and/or suggestions that I've
used in my guide, and I want to credit them and thank them for their
contributions here:
     Oberonofamber - Corrected an error I'd made in the Debuffer description.
     Kythlyn - Suggested the more efficient Cure macros for PS2 controllers,
               as well as for sending me the link to the XP guide at IGN.


If you wish to contact me, please send an email to:  
     sabocactuar * at * hotmail * dot * com

Or you may also send me a /tell if you are on Fairy Server.  My charname is
Saboruto, and my POL email address is:
     baletori * at * POL * dot * com

Thanks for reading my Guide, I hope it's been of help to you!

c. 2003, Jason Dyals (aka Tristan Baletori / SaboCactuar).
All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their
respective trademark and copyright holders.


---------------
End of Document
---------------

123456789-123456789-123456789-123456789-123456789-123456789-123456789-123456789