::::Serris's Guide to Becoming a Trautaru Dark Knight:::: (The Eternal Struggle For Acceptance) **Disclaimer** This guide is Copyright 2004 and is the property Serris and may not be used in any way shape or form unless approved by me in an email. If you wish to use my guide please contact me though e-mail and I will most likly be happy to let you post it. **Version History** 1.0: First stage of the guide which will be updated as e-mails are sent to me. >>Table of Contents<< 1.0: Introduction 1.1: Entering the Ways of the Taru 1.2: Applying the Ways of the Taru to a Drk 1.3: Great Sword or Scythe What's a taru To Do? 1.4: Magic a Taru Drk's Greatest Ally 1.5: Enhancing Your Taruness With Subjobs 1.6: Finding Your Strength Though Abilities as a Taru Drk 1.7: Playing the Role and Living the Life 1.8: Things to Keep in Mind 1.9: The Final Word and the Most Important Thing for a Taru Drk 2.0: Special Thanks and Contact Information 1.0: >>Introduction<< This is a guide for those of you tarutaru's out there that aspire to become one of the greatest melee classes of all time, the dark knight(drk). Now those of you thinking this class is unconventional for such a race fail to see the greatness that is taru. The fun of the game is to mix up the combinations any way you want, and a taru drk is no exception. So for those of you thinking of attempting the drk career in the form of a taru don't shy away from it. Don't be discouraged by what you may have heard from others, a taru drk can and will exist. That is the very same reason I chose to write this FAQ, to share the awesomeness of a taru drk to all and perhaps, increase their population in the world of FFXI. So read on if you wish to gain the knowlege of the life of a Tarutaru drk and how to make the most of it. 1.1: >>Entering the Ways of the Taru Drk<< Tarutaru's as is well known to many people of FFXI are prone to mass magic usage, the ulitmate mage really. Smaller, more intelligent, and slightly more agile then a hume these little guys pack a punch with the right equipment. What seems to fit is a mass amount MP that should follow with such statistics and so it does, this is to be utilized throughout a taru's career. To get rid of the magic componenent of a taru is like taking the essence of their lives away from them,instead of trying to get rid of the MP use it to it's maximum potential. Due to this great amount of MP, HP at times can be much lower then that of other races. There are advantages and disadvantages to this, the most obivious being the fact of death which seems to play a unfortunate role in every character's time, from things to just battle damage or a terrible status of poison (Serket comes to mind... O.o). That aside the only way the HP disadvantage can be a problem is if a taru's MP is not utilized to compansate. Think in the ways of healing, support, and extra damage, these all compensate for such HP problems. Items that enhance hp and take away MP utilize MP as well if so needed. Embrace the magic power that has been given to you and then you will truly see the undeniable powers of a taru. 1.2: >>Applying the Ways of the Taru to a Drk<< 65 Being a taru drk is alot more complicated than that of any of the other races. When you,as a taru take up this job you also must be fully aware of what's expected of you. You will be expected to do close to if not exactly the amount of damage an elvann drk can deal out in a fight. This at first can be a daunting task and a harsh reality, but fortunately with the right equipment taru drk can do that or even more damage then an elvann in a party. The first and foremost key to being a taru drk is that you have to have gil and a solid method of getting it. Before you go any further in this guide ask yourself if you have these stable funds and if not take a class like blm or whm first, lvl it, and make some gil, you'll need it. With that said your first and greatest priortiy is a high damage scythe/great sword. This amount of damage is going to be your main strength so always go with high attack power over dex increasing weapons. Such as barbarian scythe, which may be bad for elvann's, do to their terrible accuracy but for taru's it only makes us more powerful. After getting sufficient weaponary you should begin looking for things that increase your accuarcy(acc). Although your acc may be greater than all races but mithra drk's still miss alot of the time especially with scythes/great swords. Without acc boosting equip you'll be unable to hit and therefore any damage you maybe able to do is useless. Don't give into the temptation to raise your strength, we as tarus must face the truth on this one, and that truth is: no matter how much we boost our strength we will never have the stats of a elvann, never mind a galka. But if we can land hits more often and and boost our raw attack power (Ex: Barbarian scythe which elvann drks should never use with +25 attack with -5 acc) tarus can surpass these things. Next you want to buy spells for your drk, this is especially important for a taru drk because we are applying what was said above, embracing your magical ability. This can be any range of spells for drk but may also include others do to different sub choices and preferences. The use and usefulness of these spells shall be stated in later sections of the guide, just be aware now that these should be your 3rd priority. The last of your priorities is your armor, although there may be some exceptions to the rule (Haubergeon, Hauberk, Thick Gear) in general this should be the least of your worries as a taru drk, although it shouldn't be ignored, with a small amount of hp armor can make all the difference. Taking hits in general in a party shouldn't be something you want to do anyways unless you have some sort of suicide wish. Unfortunatly it's a fact of FFXI life that as a drk you are going to take some damage, and face it, your going to die more than once throughout your partying career, the hope is to prevent this and keep your taru happy and alive. So with that said if all the armor available to you at your current level doesn't increase your attack or acc then go with the best possible defence. Spend whatever you have left over on this and if you really have alot of cash to burn buy yourself some food to enhance your abilities even further. After this your all suited up and ready to go party and get some good xp! 1.3: <<Great Sword or Scythe What's a Taru To Do?>> I bring the great debate upon this guide about drk weapon choice, sycthes or great swords. Each weapon has it's ups and downs and I will first state the pro's and con's of each then following with my own advice afterwards. Ultimately it's up to you which you choose no one is going to argue about a drk using a great sword or a scythe unless the weaponskill holds value within a party skillchain, with one of the weapons. --Great Swords-- Pros: -Faster attack speed than scythes -Cheaper to buy at low levels then scythes -The ability to attain Spinning Slash weapon skill at level 66 Cons: -Reglularly have lower attack then scythes at the same level -Ridculiously expensive at higher levels -Weapon skills before Sickle Slash are weaker compared to scythe skills --Scythes-- Pros: -Higher attack than great swords at the same level(generally) -Cheaper at higher levels then great swords (usually by a great amount) -Powerful weapon skills earlier then great sword such as Guillotine Cons: -Very Slow in comparison to great swords -Can be expenisive to use at low levels -Spinning Slash destroys all scythe skills with higher damage overall Recommendations: As a drk your weapon abilties get to great levels in both of these weapons, sycthe only being higher by about 1-3 points. So as such this makes choosing one quite hard still because the numbers are so close. When I was just starting out personally I used scythes, why? One word... Guillotine. This is an amazing skill to say the least and is one of the most damaging weaponskills aside from Sidewinder at that level. I had alot of people asking me for weaponskills (level 50+) such as Sickle Moon and other Great Sword skills. So I began to level Great Sword to it's max level late in the game, but then I found that people wanted scythe skills as well (this being before Spinning Slash). So what I have found is that drk's are important for damage but also must able to skillchain correctly with other party members. So I say why limit yourself to one weapon? We drk's are talented in both types so level them equally. Pre-level 66 I suggest mainly use scythe for xp parties and try to "skill up" Great Sword on your own time. When you hit 66 use Great Sword as all parties will expect the godly damage of Spnning Slash at a drk's command. From 66 on you will most likly stick to Spinning Slash until level 75 as it's just that damaging. Although if you wish to solo after 66 I would suggest a scythe, so don't neglect to level up your scythe after level 66. Once again the choice is yours the guide is written for both weapons so don't feel you must stay with this strategy. This is purely based on my experience and the thoughts of others. 1.4: <<Magic a Taru Drk's Greatest Ally>> Magic, the essence of a good taru mage and and the core of a good taru drk, as it is well known drk's use black magic to enhance their already great attack power. The problem with this is that the black magic of a drk is never used in a party even though it's damage potential only increases the potent melee of a drk. As taru we are magically inclined with huge amounts of mp even with a non-mage sub. This could possibly be one of the taru drk's greatest aspects, with such mp backed with the highest intelligence of all races of drks we can really do some damage or heal it. What is done with this magical potential is truly up to the sub as well as the current level of your drk. Regardless of sub there are key things that should be utilized as drk within the array of magic you can get, but before you go off nuking all those monsters out there know that you are no black mage(blm) or even red mage(rdm). There will never be a time where you can out damage a blm and only at lower levels with the correct sub can you keep up with a rdm. Also we as drk's with lower defense and a smaller hp count will want to control the amount of hate to keep the monster(mob) that is being fought on the tank. So we must controlnukes and use them at the correct times, being a drk has alot to do with hate control as well as damage. What we wish to through black magic is a enhancing of our melee damage. With this said don't expect to do 500 damage with one spell, it's it's just not going to happen, what we want is small amounts of damage after each physical swing. By doing this each time the damage accumulates while getting small hate gain. Think of this: you hit a mob for 60 every attack and cast stone each time afterwards for 6 extra damage, do this 10 times and you just racked up another melee attack that you didn't have to do. As an added bonus this damage is unblockable, uncounterable, and never misses(although sometimes resisted). Stack this with a blm sub and watch the damage pile up. This is a great statagey for taru drk's until absorb spells become available, since no other race really has the mana to do it. Just remember small spells after every attack, in otherwords don't cast Stone II and things like that. These do to little damage for the cost and take to long to cast. Once absorb spells become available it turns into a whole new game for us tarus. With these taru drks can make a scary enemy into a slightly less scary enemy by limiting their stats and adding to their own. It's impairitive that you aquire these spells or you will not be casting anything after level 50 as it'll just be a waste of time and mana. When you aquire these spells it is your duty as a taru drk to drain that mob of all it's stats as much as you can, as the drains wear off it is your job to keep them there and cast them again. There are a few exceptions as different drains adapt to different situations, sometimes its unconventional to cast certain drains in certain fights(Absorb Charisma comes to mind...). Listen to your parties needs and don't let it interfere with your skillchain if you have one. You will continue this draining until the end of your partying career at level 75 as damage spells will no longer be of use to you. I will give a brief summery of some of the spells to get and the ones to ignore unless your a perfectionist. --Spells To Get-- - Elemental spells up to but not including stone II These spells like I said give that little extra damage to your melee attacks as taru this constitues as using your mana effectively. - All absorb spells (Especially Asb-DEX) These are the core of a taru drk's magic arsenal, without these there will be no magic using for you after these levels and all the way to level 75. - Drain/Aspir These spells are one of best things a drk has, and with the MP to cast them over and over how can we taru's do without? The drain spell MP cost is very little at high levels. It's the most damaging spell at a taru drk's disposal, and it heals you which is great for those emergency cases. Aspir at higher levels actually becomes useful when it's not resisted, being able to get back some that MP is always useful. - Stun This spell can be a saving grace for many xp parties especially against the notorious goblin bomb. Super fast to cast and stops most special attacks/spells you can't go wrong with this one. On the downside the effectiveness of this spell is completely upon the drk that's using, timing is critical, and it can get tricky at times. --Spells to Ignore-- - Elemental spells after and including Stone II All these spells are pretty much useless as they take far to long to cast and use a large amount of mp for the damage output. A taru drk is much better off with smaller spells that cast faster and cost less. - Poison/Poison II/Posionga Near useless in party situations and even in soloing the only thing you might want it for is pulling. In order for this to be effective you must have a high enfeeble skill, which is mostly a skill that drk's hardly use depending on sub. The damage this does is negelgible... but if you were to level up your enfeble skill and make poison II stick all the time, this could be effective. As of now I have seen no evidence to support this theory if anyone has any info please email me on this. - Bind Holding your opponent in a postion so they can attack you may be a cool thing to play around with, but in the long run our taru drk's strength lies in our melee attacks and unless you want to unleash some high level elemental spells at the mob (which isn't very effective anyways) your doing pretty much nothing but halting the mobs advance which, in most cases you want when it comes to xp. - Sleep/Sleep II Once again another ineffective spell do to a drk's enfeeble skill. This may save you in emergencies but chances are it's going to be resisted and give you alot of hate leading to an untimely death for your little taru. Leave things like this to the rdm in your party. - Bio/Bio II The spell itself seems useful, damage over time and lower attack power, unfortunatly it has one fatal flaw, it doesn't stack with Dia/Dia II which kills any usefulness it may have had. Most parties will ban you from using this spell as it screws up Dia and most parties find this spell to be more effective then Bio. This may not be completely true but it seems that this is the common thought throughout parties, and as such, it should be ignored until opinions of it change. - Tractor Tractors a dead ally's body to you. Only useful in some situations and most of the time your rdm or whm will have this ability anyways so in theory it is useless to have unless you have the gil to burn on it. 1.5: <<Enhancing Your Taruness With Subjobs>> After level 15 there is a point where your little taru can gain access to whole new aspect of the job system through subjobs. This shouldn't be a problem as we should all have the subjob option by now (hopefully.... and if not why?!?!). Tarus have a few options that are not available to other races with such small MP pools to draw upon. It may also be a good idea to read this then level your chosen sub to 30 and then unlock the drk job that way. By doing this there is no need to go back and level a sub (Which is a painful process might I add, thief leveling wasn't fun). So here I'll list the taru drk subs that are effective, and neglect listing the ones which are obviously terrible (ex: drk/brd). I have personally tried most of these subs at the highest sub level on my drk and will give my own opinion based upon experience and the thoughts of others in the various parties I have been in. --Drk/White Mage(whm)-- For any other race this as a sub would seem unconventonal, and in a way it is. Most people will say that a drk's job is to maximize damage, and they're quite right it's one the key aspects that comes with the job. These people see taru drk's as an imitatation elvann/galka drk, they neglect the fact that our MP nearly doubles most jobs at the same level and this makes white magic effective. With this you can toss a few character's heals (as you have as much MP as a Hume rdm at the same level) without having to rest for a long time. This is not saying that your a healer when you choose this sub but you're definately a key support healer in times of need. You can lessen downtime by a great amount with the right useage of MP which varies from party to party. As well your tank may be thankful when you toss him a Cure II when the main healer is in mid-cast or is out of MP. I found this sub to be effective until about level 40-50 when higher level cures finally become available to whm's and rdm's which makes this sub obsolete. --Drk/Black Mage(blm)-- There is alot of controversy about this sub for a Taru drk, the fact of the matter is it offers a wider range of spells while increasing your MP pool even further. With blm as a sub you should should really be employing the "Swing and nuke strategy" because those little add on damage spells just got a little more potent with this sub(once again you won't be nuking like a blm, maybe like a rdm at low levels like pre-level 30) *See section 1.4 for more on this*. There are alot of taru drk's that go this way with subbing blm do to their previous job choice before drk (that and warrior(war) isn't fun to level for a taru). This sub works well at lower levels for a taru drk, although you may get complaints for some people and partying my be a little harder as invites may be slim compared to that of a elvann drk/war that is so common in FFXI today. The extra damage utilizes that huge mp pool tarus have and that additional damage never hurts. The warp spell you get at level 34 with blm as a sub is very nice as it saves your precious conquest points for other things. At higher levels you will aquire the spell Escape which is really nice if you need to get your party out of a tough spot. The other spells you aquire are mostly useless, the sub is there more for magic attack power then anything else. This sub is one I personally used until about level 38 as it was the job I had used before I moved to drk so it was convienent to sub at the time. I would say use this as a sub for no longer then level 40 or so as it's usefulness to a party goes down significantly after elemental spells become less potent and you ditch the "swing and nuke" strategy for the absorb spells. --Drk/Red Mage(rdm)-- With this sub you get a little more enfeeble power with this sub and a mix of healing and damaging magic. With this though comes the disadvantage of variety which is less powerful spells. Almost every spell you get in black magic you attain as a drk anyways and your cure spells are gimped in comparision to a whm. The only thing that may be interesting about this sub is the use of en-spells such as enfire and enblizzard. These spells will add elemental damage to your attacks plus whatever you add on from nuking after each melee swing. This is a great way to rack up even more damage with an unfortunate loss of white magic. So when taking this sub you make a choice to have less healing power and more damage dealing capabilities. The choice is up to you, personally I believe sticking to blm or whm sees to have more advantages, and the fact that you never do get refresh (one of, if not the most important magic spell a rdm has) kind of makes this sub lack luster. If this sub is chosen though I wouldn't recommend taking it any further then level 40-50, when your healing spells will become obsolete. --Drk/Samurai(Sam)-- This is sub that should never be used pre-level 60 as the stat gains and abilities are lacking in comparison to other subs such as whm or blm. The main reason to have this sub is the ability Meditate which is gained at level 30 by sam's. In taking this sub you take upon yourself the responsiblity to control your hate more-so then before and the ability to do more then one skillchain with another party member. What I mean by hate control is that if you fire off two weapon skills each close to 700 damage (stacked with Souleater of course) not only are you going to have low HP but the hate you gain from the mob is going to be so strong that even the best of tanks are going to have a hard time getting it off you. This will lead to a quick death for us taru's if not handled properly. The exchange is godly damage to the mob that even blm's are gonna have a hard time topping. Just know that if this sub is used the main focus should be to control your hate. I personally would never go with this sub just due to the hate gain and high chance of death in xp parties, with the hate in mind and a fear of death always haunting you Meditate will never be fully used to it's greatest potential. If you chose this sub and are good with it you can take it all the way to level 75 without much compliants from anyone. --Drk/Ninja(Nin)-- This is a typical late game setup for soloing as well as big battles with NM's (Notorious Monsters). This is a great sub to have for such things but in a party it lacks usefulness towards enhancing your job. Until level 74 your stuck with the slow Utsusemi Ichi (Blink ninja spell) so that also kinda takes a bit away from it's luster. In parties as a taru drk you shouldn't be getting hit at all or very little, that's the tank's job, so Blink is usless. All the other ninjitsu spells you get aren't very effective due to your low skill level in using them. The Dual weild is nice to have but is nothing compared to a good scythe or great sword (unless you have a kraken club). So personally I wouldn't recommend this sub for partying or even solo really until level 74+ where it becomes super useful. --Drk/Warrior(War)-- This is the most common sub for all drk's pre-level 60. The most useful things about this sub are the stat bonuses and the all important Double Attack ability attained when your drk reaches level 50. War will increase your strength and vitality which helps out with many aspects of a taru drk's job. It also has useful abilities such as Berserk, and as mentioned above Double Attack. Berserk is helpful in that it raises attack power slightly and if used before a weapon skill causes slightly more damage then normal. Double Attack is the main reason for subbing war as it improves attack power as you may attack two times every attack phase, and well as can give you to chances to hit and more TP in the long run, as such it's a very effective sub to have for all drk's not exculding taru drk's. With all these extras there are drawbacks one of these being the ability to Provoke. Now one may think this is a good thing to have, but we are basing that on the fact that the drk can actually take hits and survive long enough for the tank to grab back hate or the party to recover. In the case of tarus this is almost always wrong and the party if not killed in the process is left with one dead taru drk. This is another harsh reality that we as tarus must face especially as drk's with little defence potential. This is one of the main reasons why most people sub blm instead of this, first off a warrior taru is a very hard thing to level, and voke with any other class then paladin(pld) and nin kills them very quick. At level 59 with a Haubergeon +1 equipped I was only able to take between 2-4 hits from Incredibly Tough mobs. For some reason though alot of the time you are still expected to Provoke for things such as SATA(Sneak Attack + Trick Attack) for thf's. That aside it is well known that this is the best sub for drk's pre-level 60 if you can stand to go through the pains-taking process of leveling it. I personally would've used this sub if I could start all over again, the bonuses are nice and Double Attack is to good to pass up. This sub should be used until level 60 but can be used all the way to 75. The amount of time you use this sub (if you have it) really depends on your own preferences and the parties you get into (some parties may ask for a war sub). --Drk/Thief(Thf)-- This is the typical late game combo for most drk's that works extremely well for most. The key to this is the two abilities Sneak Attack and Trick Attack(SATA) which improves damage greatly when used with a weaponskill. For those of us not versed in the ways of a thf, Sneak Attack works when you use any physical attack behind a mob and Trick Attack works when you do any physical attack behind a party member this move will then transfer any hate gained to that party member, these effects also stack. With that said the greatness of this sub is self-explanitory, more damage, less hate, yes please. At this point you become the control for alot of the hate that flies around during a fight, a common strategy is to have another party member provoke and then you SATA on the tank giving that character massive hate. This will also help you stay alive when you use the highly damaging Souleater + weaponskill combo as well as more damage. This sub also adds agility and dexterity to your drk which are two very benificial stats for your drk. The drawbacks are really non-existant other than maybe no strength bonus and more responsiblity in parties. I personally used this sub after level 50 because at the time I didn't have a war sub and I got no complaints from people. If I were to recommend a level to use this sub at it would be 60+ be that is when you obtain Trick Attack from the sub but if not it's still quite a good sub for pre-60 levels although war in my opinion is better. This sub will take you to level 75 if you have it fully leveled for subbing. 1.5: <<Finding Your Strength Through Abilities as a Taru Drk>> A key part of every job is the abilities contained within, these can make or break a character. Unfortunatly as drk's the pool of abilities we have to draw upon is small compared to some classes, but on the plus side we at least get one good one. If I were to truly sum up a drk's abilities for a Taru drk I would just describe Souleater and be done with it but this being a full comprehensive guide, and for those of you that want to know everything about this job I will list the rest of drk's pretty useless abilities. Just keep in mind as you attain these abilities you actually may find a use for them for early levels for about two seconds..... keep going because Souleater is only level 30 and this is the true power of a drk at it's best. --Blood Weapon-- (level 1) This is drk's two-hour ability apparently supposed to be used in emergency situations. For each hit we land on the mob we get back that much in HP, kinda like drain on a stick. This lasts for a duration of 30 seconds (In which most drk's get only 2-3 hits max, and that's if they actually hit) which is a insanely short time for weapons most drk's weild. The best use for this is to stack it with souleater in times of trouble and regain as much HP as lose from Souleater, this is the only way ability will save you most of the time. Although this ability can be fun with a super-low delay dagger with Double Attack, other then that and for Souleater it's practically useless. --Arcane Circle-- (level 5) Wow this ability is about as good as a Dragoon's ability to protect against wyverns, all this does is give you and all other party members a very slight (and I mean very slight) resistance to Arcana. On the plus side it looks kinda cool and it's always nice to have something cool to use if your out of fireworks at appropriate moments throughout the game. --Last Resort-- (level 15) This is finally a somewhat useful ability until level 30, as it raises your attack slightly for a short period of time. This can also be stacked with Souleater at later levels for a slight increase in damage. This ability is alot like Berserk for war but with one fatal drawback, it has a built in Provoke for the mob your party is fighting at the time, and for those of you that have read about the war sub for drk in section 1.4, you know how bad Provoke is for a taru drk. Also just like Berserk it lowers your overall defence as if the Provoke wasn't bad enough for us. So to recap, slight attack increase, huge loss to overall defence, and Provoke on the mob. Use this ability with care as it can be your death, be sure you trust your tank to hold the hate. --Weapon Bash-- (level 20) This ability has potential when you first hear of what it does, a chance to stun a mob and stop an attack. What isn't told to you is how big this "chance" is, which is, suffice to say, very low. Basically this only deals a small amount of extra damage to the mob if you ever wish to use it and if you actually get a stun out of it that's a bonus. On that note, don't use it unless you really need a stun and want to "roll the dice" for a chance at one. --Souleater-- (level 30) Finally, the best and really only great ability at your taru drk's disposal. This move amplifies damage by taking away HP with each hit. This is not only great for normal attacks but when paired with a weaponskill the damage is amazing to say the least, and if that weaponskill is multi-hit (*cough* Guillotine *cough*) then you get souleater for each hit. Now take this and pair it with a SATA attack as well as Last Resort and you got yourself one crazy attack that can cut down even the scariest of xp mobs. When using this ability remember to watch your life total and always be aware that if used without SATA you will gain great amounts of hate when your doing so much damage. So what's best is stack it with SATA if you have thf sub at level 60 otherwise be sure to control that hate. On a side note many people believe that Souleater is gimped by a taru's low HP count and indeed it is, but we can make up for that through the use of our MP. For this point I shall employ some of Blitzaruya's calculations off of the VN Boards. (I take no credit for the any of the points or calculations shown here the credit on this goes to Blitzaruya for the great info.) The original post may be found here: http://vnboards.ign.com/The_Dark_Knight/b22535/63390813/?22 Of all the arguments people have against Taru DRK, the largest and seemingly most formidable is that "with their low life, they wont be able to souleater as much" Instead of theorize, i will use simple mathmatics using the o so beloved stat calculator I will comepare Taru DRK/WHM with an Elvaan DRK/WHM I choose lvl 50 as a comparison level 50 Taru DRK/WHM HP: 690 50 Elvaan DRK/WHM HP: 912 The way soul eater works is that it takes 10% of your remaining life and adds it to your base damage. For this comparison, I will say that each character will soul eater until they are at 50% life. x = Taru DRK/WHM's base damage (irrelevant what number it is) y = Elvaan DRK/WHM's base damage Step 1: Taru damage on first hit = x + .1(690) = x + 69 damage on second hit = x + .1(690-69) = x + 62.1 (HP at 81%) damage on third hit = x + .1(621-62.1) = x + 55.89 (HP at 73%) damage on fourth hit= x + .1(503.01) = x + 50.3 (HP at 66%) damage on fifth hit = x + .1(452.71) = x + 45.27 (HP at 59%) damage on sixth hit = x + .1(407.44) = x + 40.74 (HP at 54%.. stopping now) so the total extra damage the taru did from soul eater is = 323.3 Step 2: Elvaan same process damage on first hit = y + .1(912) = y + 91.2 damage on second hit = y + .1(820.8) = y + 82.08 damage on third hit = y + .1(738.72) = y + 73.87 damage on fourth hit = y + .1(664.85) = y + 66.48 damage on fifth hit = y + .1(598.37) = y + 59.83 damage on sixth hit = y + .1(538.54) = y + 53.85 (HP now at 54%) total damage from soul eater for the Elvaan = 427.31 thats only a 104 damage difference (assuming their base damage is same). While i could have shown this by just 50% of each of their lives and comparing, some people need to see it step by step. Now, lets see how we could make up this "lost" damage. Since the taru has more MP( Taru MP = 419 Elvaan = 215), he can do more drains (even though 1 minute timer) without rest... very useful during chaining. With the more MP, he could heal himself much more mid-soul eater, thus chaning the damage dealt by soul-eater, he could enfeeble much more, and he can heal the WHM when needed. Also let's remember than the taru will have more INT, so his dark spells will land harder than the elvaan. I know there are better races to compare against, but i chose elvaan because it has a good balance of HP and STR, 2 things which the taru lack. *End of Calculations* 1.7: <<Playing the Role and Living the Life>> Here is the section where I will outline the life of a taru drk from level to level. The things you should be doing, the options you have, the equipment you should wear it's all here. This is based upon my own experiences on the Bismarck server as seen through the eyes of my own character Serris. This will not only outline the path I took but some of the things I believe I should've done when I look back now as well as other perspectives do to different sub choices and weapon choice. I will go up to level 50 after that I believe it's time for you to learn on your own make your own mistakes and choices. This will be the only way you'll become your own person and develop your own style. This path should be taken as suggestion because it is truly up to you to find and walk your own path. There will be a summery after each phase the definitions of the terms used therein are as follows: **SUMMERY** Phase Span: The levels the phase starts at and ends at. Subjob: My subjob recommendation at the end of the phase. End Recommendation Weapons: My recommendation for the end weapons ************************* for the current phase. (The bare minimum you should have) --The Beginning-- So your a new drk just emerging into a new world of existence, don't be afraid, put your best foot forward and step into this job with both eyes open and a goal to succeed and you'll do great. I found myself from levels 1-12 leveling in South/North Gustaberg soloing mobs and then moving on to tougher things as my abilities increased. Other areas such as Windurst's Sarutabaruta and San d'Oria's Ronfaure/La Theine Plateau are good as well. Just get a feel for what mobs you can and cannot kill for your current level, as well if you ask nicely most people are always willing to help out low level people. At this point any sub seems to work out of the ones listed in section 1.5, with war and thf being two of the best choices if you have them. I subbed blm actually at this point and it worked out fine I just needed to throw some black magic into the mix from time to time. Armor should not be much of a problem at this point just get the highest defence you can afford off the auction house(AH) and if bronze armor is all then that's fine to although you may be slightly less effective at levels 7-9. As for weapons I went with scythe but great sword is also good to use. For scythe I used a Brass Zaghnal if you can get the +1 version then all the better, as for great swords(GS) Deathbringer is a great choice with all that extra attack but if you have low defence then you may just want to start out with your first GS until you can move to claymore. When moving on to level 10 with a scythe go for the Legionnaire's Scythe as strength+(STR) is always good. **SUMMERY** Phase Span: 1-12 Subjob: Any from Section 1.5 End Recommendation Weapons: GS= Claymore / Scythe= Legionnaire's Scythe *********************** --Your First Partying Experience-- Once you hit level 12 you can finally start partying full time and show everyone the great taru you've become. Now you want to keep in mind that although you maybe packing some great armor you are no tank, leave that job to the war's. If you are asked to tank politely refuse if it persists leave you will only bring death upon yourself. So now that you got a good party it's time to move to the Valkurm Dunes. If you are using scythe stick with Legionnaire's Scythe as there isn't much need to upgrade to Plantreaper until 15 where you can get Bastok and Republic Scythes if you can afford them. As for GS stick with claymore till level 13 where getting Flame Claymore should be your greatest priority. **SUMMERY** Phase Span: 12-15 Subjob: Any from Section 1.5 End Recommendation Weapons: GS= Flame Claymore / Scythe= Legionnaire's Scythe *********************** --Learning on the Job-- At 15 we are graced with another ability that is semi-useful when used correctly, Last Resort. We are still suck in valkurm dunes and as such we as taru drk's should consentrate on staying alive. Use Last Resort only when you know it's safe and continue to rack up that damage by nuking some after every attack. Hate control is now a must be very careful, if you get to much lay off the nukes and just attack normally. If you really have alot of hate then disengage and wait for it to turn to the tank then engage again. Continue in the dunes until level 20. Scythe users should upgrade at 20 to a Cruel Scythe which is a great scythe for drk's, and for GS users we are going to want to go with the Braveheart if you can afford it if not go for the Platoon Sword. **SUMMERY** Phase Span: 15-20 Subjob: Any from Section 1.5 End Recommendation Weapons: GS= Platoon Sword / Scythe= Cruel Scythe *********************** --Finding Your Purpose-- At level 20 we can finally move out of the dunes and work our way to Jeuno and then, Qufim. With your gear set start xping until you hit level 25 when you can finally leave to another far away place. It is here that we finally get an awesome GS called Barbarian's Sword which give +15 to attack and -5 to acc, the -acc is ok for us taru's and the attack+ is great so this is a definate weapon to get if you use GS's. As for you scythe users we still get to keep our awesome Cruel Scythe as Frostreaper with only +2 attack is kinda useless. **SUMMERY** Phase Span: 20-25 Subjob: Any from Section 1.5 End Recommendation Weapons: GS= Barbarian's Sword / Scythe= Cruel Scythe *********************** --Earning Your Wings-- At level 25 we get to move out of Qufim and into the Jungles of Kazham. We shall stay here until level 30 where your taru will once again move out to bigger and better places. Once the level of 30 is achieved your true powers are unleashed though the ability souleater. Your little taru is grown up now and is ready to enter a new stage of his job in further levels. As for weapon choice GS's are best to hold off until level 31 and grab a Demonic Sword as for scythes we finally get to change to Mercenary Captain's Scythe at level 30 for it's great attack power. **SUMMERY** Phase Span: 25-30 Subjob: Any from Section 1.5 End Recommendation Weapons: GS= Barbarian's Sword / Scythe= Merc. Cpt's Scythe *********************** --Learning to Fly-- At level 30 the two main places we get to level in are Garlaige Citadel and Crawler's Nest. Staying at Garlaige until 35 and Crawler's Nest until 40 where we move deeper in. At this point in the game you'll finally learn the terrible fate of a party that has a puller that pulls links, so make sure to get someone compotent at the job. If you're pulling quickly educate yourself on which mobs link and which don't so that you don't bring a terrible doom to you and your party. As for weapon choice for GS if you can afford it go for Mythril Claymore at level 36, when you move to level 39 get a Ice Brand. For Scythe users move from your Mercenary Captain's Scythe to Windurstian Scythe if you can afford it, if not skip it and aim for a Mutilator at level 40 and if not that because it costs to much then at least get a Mythril Scythe. **SUMMERY** Phase Span: 35-40 Subjob: Whm,War,Thf,Rdm End Recommendation Weapons: GS= Ice Brand / Scythe= Mythril Scythe *********************** --The Sky's the Limit-- Finally at level 40 moving to that golden level 50 mark that seems to be so far away. Don't worry though the path isn't long just pick your parties wisely and control your hate while dishing out the damage. Your not a little taru anymore you've grown up and it's time for you to show the world what you have learned. Be bold and go for the top! You will find your next xp mobs deeper in Crawler's Nest until level 50 where you move again to places where xp is once again plentiful. As for weapon choice for GS your final weapon before 50 will be Faussar at level 47 pick one of those up on the AH and you'll be good to go. As for you scythe users out there you may want to pick up your AF scythe at level 42 and use that then at level 46 if you have the gil buy a Mandibular Scythe, if not keep your AF scythe until 49 where you'll get your Barbarian's Scythe. This scythe is a must have scythe I can't stress enough on how much +25 attack helps out in parties, and once again the -acc is nothing for us tarus because the attack we get is so much better then the loss in acc. **SUMMERY** Phase Span: 40-50 Subjob: War,Thf,Whm End Recommendation Weapons: GS= Faussar / Scythe= Barbarian's Scythe *********************** That ends this section off the rest is now up to you! Use the knowlege you have gained to guide your actions. Always remember that your party has expectations of you even more-so now that you are taru. Show them the power of a taru drk and watch as them fall over astounded by your superior might. 1.8: <<Things to Keep in Mind>> Always remember what you are, a taru, know your limitations and utilize your stregths to overcome your weaknesses. When boosting your stats with various equipment always look for acc boosting equipment before attack+ equipment. There are some exceptions when the -acc is so small compared to the attack bonuses, (ex: Barbarian Scythe) even though we are taru with higher dex then some races we still do miss, we miss alot, and no attack power we could possibly muster is going to make up for a taru that can't hit. Also remember to utilize your magic ablilities may it be though healing, damage dealing, or even absorbing embrace the talents given to your race and use them. Never forget that this game is about doing what you want and if you wish to be unique then go for it. If you want to make a drk/brd go for it but remember that with it may come the critisim of others and less parties etc. 1.9: <<The Final Word and the Most Important Thing for a Taru Drk>> This is it all the knowlege I could muster onto this one FAQ about being a taru drk and I hope you enjoyed it or at least found it informative. If this guide has helped you in anyway then my goal has been achieved. All the info you see here has been gathered through my character Serris that is now sadly retired as a level 66 dark knight of the Bismarck server. In closing this FAQ I must say that the most important thing for a taru drk, even more important then all that was mentioned above is friends. Friends in this game are your most valuable source of info, support, and good times. It truly is the greatest thing you can have, and if you forget everything that was said in the core of this FAQ remember this last thing, as no better advice could be given for a game such as this. 2.0: <<Special Thanks and Contact Information>> I'd like to give a special thanks to all those people out there on the Bismarck Server that are friends of mine and have supported my time in FFXI and got me to where I was when I retired. Azndrag- For being there even in the worst of times and for being part of many of the good times. Andante- For the great farming fun and all around good times. Arimi- For helping convince me to be a taru drk. Kenshun- For getting me on the path of drk and giving me the conviction to keep at drk even when I thought of quitting. Maximuss- For the unlimited amount of knowlege he has given me over the course of the game making me the drk I am today. Alisah- For listening to my constant rants no matter how stupid they were. Bomber- For being a sort of role model for my own drk and inspiring me to go further with your godly equipment and advice. Asgaurd- For some good times and support to continue trying that damn site which I got alot of info from. Jennietaru- For answering even the most stupid of my questions even when everyone else was silent in LS chat. And finally all the members of LS Bluesteel *Thanks for letting me be part of something so great* **Thank you to all of you and best of luck in your future endevors!** If you wish to contact me you can email me at RevanII@shaw.ca Please don't send e-mails that present flames to my statements in the FAQ. These e-mails will be deleted without reply or consideration, any positive comments or facts I may have missed or even well backed arguements are very much welcome and if I add any info from any e-mail I will be sure to give credit to the sender.