Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Campaign Solo Guide: Part #1

With Wings of the Goddess SE introduced Campaign Battles. They make for OK solo EXP although nothing amazing. I also see people doing all sorts of stupid shit in them. I'm not referring to the /BRD leveling. I did that myself and don't see any problem with it. (Provided you aren't one of the numbnuts who stood out in aggro range of mob spawns MPKing 3/4ths the other people there every 5 minutes. Those people need to die in a fire.)

No, I'm referring to people using blatantly stupid strategies. People not tanking who could be. People who go WHM/NIN and won't raise anyone even after battles. People who use Temp Items but have never done a Supply Campaign Op in their lives.

The first part of this guide to all things Campaign, is Know your Job™. While it's pretty awesome to have a loud retarded kid who finds a way to smash the square peg into the round hole around once in a while (for laughing at I guess?), you don't want to be said loud retarded kid. So, it's important to Know your Job™. Different jobs have different strengths and weaknesses. Exploiting your strengths and minimizing your weaknesses will provide you with a more enjoyable Campaign experience (and make for less time being dead without a Raise).

I see a large number of level 75 people getting their asses handed to them by a single non-NM mob on a regular basis. These things are basically level 70ish Beastmen of various jobs and there's no reason for it.

You need to be able to tank. There's three basic ways to go about this as any job. You don't need to be a Paladin or Ninja to tank. And slapping on /NIN to your Red Mage doesn't automagically transform you into a tank, either.

Play off Existing Strong Points

I see a lot of Red Mages sub NIN. RDM/NIN is great for very strong or hard-hitting mobs. With skill (and Haste gear, something virtually no RDM/NIN I see actually use when trying to melee) a RDM/NIN can straight tank VT or IT+++ mobs even. For weak Campaign mobs though, /NIN is overkill and probably not properly utilized anyway. Red Mages have garbage evasion. Campaign mobs don't hit especially hard. Plus, you get EXP for taking and healing damage in Campaign.

Generally speaking, you need a job/subjob combo that can reduce damage taken, heal yourself, and dish out damage to relatively weak monsters. If your job has garbage evasion, can't Haste itself, and doesn't have a Haste build equipment set you shouldn't be subbing Ninja. There's three basic categories of jobs with three basic ways to go about this: Mage jobs, Melee jobs, Pet jobs. (I'll have job-by-job suggestions at the end.)

Mage Jobs

Most people should recognize from that Phalanx+Stoneskin (with MND gear for Stoneskin) is great at absorbing low per-hit damage. Red Mages would find themselves better served by subbing either WHM (status cures, reraise, etc), PLD (Sentinel, Shield Mastery, Auto Refresh), or BLU (Cocoon, possibly a useful Job Trait from spells?), or even /DNC.

Most mage jobs are in a similar boat as RDM, but lack Phalanx and/or Stoneskin, so they would benefit from /RDM.

Combined with Physical Damage Reduction -% equipment (Earth Staff, Genbu's Shield, Jelly Ring, etc), Phalanx, Stoneskin, and Aquaveil mage jobs can tank a regular mob safely and effectively.

Monk mobs are particularly nice to tank using Phalanx+Stoneskin because their per fist damage is lower so more of it is negated by Phalanx. Same with Gnats.

Melee Jobs

Most melee jobs lack an ability to Haste themselves, heal themselves, don't have Shell to reduce magic damage, and will run out of HP long before a regular campaign mob will just trading blows with one. Some have innate and effective damage mitigation (NIN, SAM, etc) others do not (WAR, DRG, etc).

Evasion varies between extremely high on Thief and extremely like a rock on Warrior. Jobs with naturally high evasion to start with can make decent use of Evasion+/Evasion skill+ gear (Boxer's Mantle and Evasion Torque are great). Jobs with bad evasion to start with shouldn't worry about increasing it and should gear with Haste/DEF/Physical damage-% in mind.

Melee jobs should generally sub DNC for the ability to heal without needing MP. Bloody Bolts and Chakra can provide decent healing for THF/NIN and MNK/NIN, but Evasion can be very streaky and your results will vary (i.e. no problem on your first mob, the second one kills you in 20 seconds). Subbing PLD is also an option for jobs with MP pools to start with, 'Adds Refresh' gear, and/or Shield skill, but less effective. /RDM can also work for jobs with Dagger skill as Energy Drain can replenish MP.

/DNC is your safest bet in most cases though. Multi-hit weapons are awesome for using with /DNC. And Desperate Flourish inflicts Gravity (when it lands) which can be used to kite for some breathing room. Just a few things to remember about Melee/Dancer job combos.

Pet Jobs

Pet jobs are kind of the oddball ones in Campaign. Some the master tanks. Some the pet tanks. Some either could be tanking at any given time. Evasion varies from high to nonexistant. Self-healing varies between very high to none natively. Choice of support job and equipment will vary for these reasons.

Pet jobs that don't have healing pets will want to sub something that provides cures. People playing a pet job generally seem more aware of how their job works than the melees and mages that get slaughtered by non-NMs, so I won't go into those much here.

Job-by-Job Drivebys

Now to mention some things specific to various jobs...

Bad Evasion, no native healing (outside Bloody Bolts on non-undead), high damage output.

Gear: Haste, PHYDMG-%, Def/VIT.

Sub: /DNC.

Comments: Multi-hit weapons are great. Make the most of Retaliation.

White Mage
Bad Evasion, extremely high but MP dependent healing, Haste spell, free Reraise, low-medium damage output.

Gear: Auto Refresh, Haste, PHYDMG-%, DEF.


Comments: Club+Genbu's Shield is probably your best bet as /RDM. Phalanx+Stoneskin+Aquaveil and /RDM is quite nice and under-used.

Flash is great for recasting shadows as /NIN (or getting Stoneskin back up). Use it.

There's a TON of Haste gear for WHM. You should be wearing most of it if you are going to /NIN.

Regen is very MP efficient, heal yourself with it instead of Cures when possible.

Silence BLM mobs, let DRKs cast their weak spells on you.

Put up Barspells to deal with AoE's (like the Orc Warmachine's fire damage).

Good evasion, low to moderate healing (Chakra and Invigorate merits), high damage output.

Gear: Depends on subjob choice.

Sub: /DNC /NIN

Comments: For /DNC gear around Haste, PHYDMG-%, Def/VIT/AGI. Genbu's or Arhat's +1 is a decent trade-off for W.turban usually.

If going /NIN you'll need a decent Evasion build and Counter tank while shadows are down. Chakra+Invigorate to heal damage taken.

Black Mage
Bad evasion, no native healing, low physical damage output, very high MP dependent magic output.

Gear: Regular solo gear & PHYDMG-%, Def

Sub: /RDM /WHM

Comments: As BLM you can solo a regular mob via Sleep-Nuke or Gravity-kiting if other people leave the mob alone. You can also Phalanx+Stoneskin and melee with an Earth Staff effectively as well. Or you can start Sleep/Gravity nuking and switch to meleeing when other people pile on to the mob. What's best depends on how many other people are there.

Casting a big nuke on a mob people are fighting and running around like a moron getting beaten to death by it is just moronic and lousy EXP though.

Very high evasion, no native healing (besides Bloody Bolts on non-undead), medium-high damage output.

Gear: Haste and Evasion

Sub: /DNC or /NIN

Comments: The biggest problem THFs have is being /NIN with a crappy haste build and no way to heal themselves. If you can keep shadows up go /NIN and bring some Bloody Bolts. If not, go /DNC.

Red Mage
Bad evasion, good MP dependent healing, Haste and Refresh spells, low-medium damage output.

Gear: Depends.


Comments: Unless you have a good Haste build and are actually really good at /NIN tanking you really shouldn't be /NIN. Phalanx+Stoneskin can provide plenty of protection on non-NMs. (You could still kill NMs by kiting them anyway.) You aren't the amazing JP RDM Avesta who solos IT+++ crap. You're fighting weak Campaign mobs. Taking and healing damage gets you EXP. Remember this.

Gravity and Bind work and can be used to get breathing room and re-apply buffs.

Joyeuse and Justice Sword are both nice for faster TP gain and DoT.

Silence BLM mobs. Let others cast their weak spells on you.

Put up Barspells to deal with AoE's (like the Orc Warmachine's fire damage).

Bad evasion, high defensive capabilities, good MP dependent healing, medium-high damage output.

Gear: Auto Refresh, Haste/DEF


Comments: By getting Phalanx from /RDM and using a Sword+Shield PLDs can reduce their damage taken to a trickle.

Using /DNC provides extra cures from TP (use a multi-hit weapon) and Samba DoT.

/WAR really should only be used if no other subs are available.

/NIN is pointless without native Haste on a job with terrible evasion.

Dark Knight
Bad evasion, low-moderate healing via Drain spells and Bloody Bolts on non-undead, high damage output.

Gear: Haste/Def

Sub: /DNC /WHM

Comments: You see oddly few DRKs doing Campaign battles, so I'm open to comments on this. DRK has bad evasion and lacks a Haste spell, so I'd just sub DNC and use as much Homam gear as possible.

Drain I&II, Aspir, and Absorb-VIT (Waltz potency is increased with higher VIT/CHR), and Stun should all be put to use on non-undeads.

DRK has a variety of multi-hit weapons available that would be good as /DNC. I'd probably not use KC or Mkris though as they do rather bad damage without BW+SE.

Bad evasion, Reward to heal pet/no self-healing, medium to high damage output.

Gear: DD gear or same as soloing

Sub: /DNC or /NIN

Comments: Using /DNC for self-cures or /NIN for when your pet doesn't have hate. The WS+Snarl trick when using jug pets is quite effective.

Bad evasion, high Regen songs available/no native Cures, low-moderate damage output.

Gear: Haste

Sub: /DNC /NIN

Comments: Bard is an odd job for soloing Campaign because it doesn't have native magic skills other than Song-related ones, so being hit recasting Stoneskin will interrupt it almost everytime. Subbed Phalanx will only absorb about ~9 damage as well. For these reasons I'd suggest going /DNC or /NIN and using March songs. /DNC will probably be better EXP/hr. If you go /NIN don't put DoTs on the mobs so you can Lullaby to re-apply shadows if necessary.

Bad evasion, no native healing besides Bloody bolts, high damage output.

Gear: Varies.

Sub: /DNC?

Comments: I've seen fewer RNGs in Campaign than DRK and they mostly seemed to Sidewinder and then die right afterwards.

I would probably go /DNC for self-cures. A Multi-hit weapon would be very nice as Slugwinder puts up huge numbers but you wouldn't get to use it if all your TP is used by Waltzes.

I'm open to suggestions for RNG solo.

Good evasion, no self-heals, high damage output.

Gear: X-hit build, Haste, Soboro

Sub: /DNC

Comments: SAM/DNC with a Soboro can pretty much spam WS and Waltz and still have TP left over.

Using an Osode or Arhat's +1 body instead of Hauby is recommended as Hauby hoses Samurai's otherwise decent Evasion. Using a Boxer's Mantle and Evasion Torque instead of DD pieces might be a worthwhile compromise too.

Alternate between Seigan and Hasso depending on how your TP gain is keeping up with (or exceeding) your TP needs for Waltz. WS when you've got 100%TP and in safe HP.

High Evasion, no self-cures, moderate-high damage output.

Gear: Haste and/or Evasion for when shadows are up. PHYDMG-%/Def/Eva for when shadows are down.


Comments: Subbing /DNC is ideal you get further your Evasion boosted further and self-cures. Ninjutsu debuffs make the mobs very easy to solo.

/RDM or /WHM can work OK as subjobs too. Using a Dagger for Energy Drain is recommended with those subjobs though.

/WAR is great for DDing, but doesn't provide much in the way of added survivability. I wouldn't use it unless you have no other subjobs leveled.

Low evasion, potentially unlimited healing from Wyvern at low HP%, and moderate to high damage output.

Gear: Standard DRG soloing gear. Wyrm Armet and Drachen Armet are very nice.

Sub: Either mage sub (/WHM /RDM /BLM /BLU etc) or /DNC

Comments: As a pet job, where the player tanks with a healing pet, DRG is very nice soloing in Campaign. Unless the mobs use heavy AoEs or Counterattack (face the mob away from your wyvern). (The first can be dealt with by avoiding certain zones as DRG, and will be dealt with in Part #2 or #3 of this series.)

Mage support jobs work very well when combined with Sigil Refresh and possibly a body piece like Ares' Cuirass. Throw in an Ethereal Earring and you'll have more MP than you could ever use. Artifact (and hopefully Relic) head(s) are required.

/DNC works like any other low evasion melee job. Homam all over and spam Waltzes.

Low evasion, limited healing from Avatars/no native Cure spells or abilities, low to medium damage output.

Gear: Artifact and Relic armor, HQ staves, etc.

Sub: /WHM or /SCH

Comments: Summoner can get really nice EXP in Campaign battles by spamming AoE buffs on other people. (Hastega is by far the most useful.) It's also possible to solo fairly well with Fenrir or Garuda.

With /SCH's Sublimation and Elemental Siphon it's easy to maintain MP. /SCH doesn't provide a free Reraise though.

Blue Mage
Low Evasion, good self-cures and self-Haste spell, medium-high MP dependent damage output.

Gear: Haste gear (Homam).

Sub: /NIN /DNC

Comments: Many Blue Mages just slap on /NIN and go to town. Which works well when backed up with a decent amount of Haste gear and Refueling.

Using /DNC and Cocoon also works quite well though. Blue Mage doesn't get any multi-hit weapons (that I know of) to provide extra TP, however.

Bad Evasion, self-regen no native cures, moderate damage output.

Gear: Haste/Def.

Sub: /DNC

Comments: With rather bad evasion and no native Haste, Corsair like most melee jobs is probably best slapping on /DNC and using Waltzes. Get a Joyeuse for faster TP gain.

Puppetmaster (yay!)
High Evasion, cures from pet, low-medium damage.

Gear: Haste, Evasion

Sub: /NIN /DNC

Comments: Because PUP has rather high evasion and can be cured by the Soulsoother/Stormwaker Automaton /NIN is a viable subjob. Using /DNC and the melee Automaton might work out as better EXP/hr. Both are viable subs though.

High Evasion, potent self-cures, Moderate damage output.

Gear: Haste, Evasion

Sub: /DNC! ...I'm kidding. /NIN /WAR?

Comments: With high evasion and more potent Waltzes than other melee jobs are subbing Dancer to get /NIN is a no-brainer.

/WAR may be viable as well. It would have to be tested.

Use Violent Flourish to stun and help get shadows back up when necessary.

Bad Evasion, good MP dependent self-cures, Sublimation, low physical damage output, moderate-high magic damage output.

Gear: Standard soloing gear.

Sub: /RDM

Comments: Scholar in Campaign should be played basically the same as BLM or RDM. Sleep/Gravity nuke or pull out a PHYDMG-% weapon (or weapon+shield) and whack the mob silly while keeping Phalanx+Stoneskin+Aquaveil up.

That's it for the job-specific section!

And for the Campaign Solo Guide Part #1: Knowing Your Job™!

Stay tuned for Part #2 What Titles May Come™ which will be named sometime in the future and will be about which Campaign battle areas are most hospitable to which types of jobs.

1 comment:

  1. DNC/DNC ftw

    A PLD should never sub WAR in campaign. If /RDM and /DNC are not avaliable then /NIN it. If you attempt to tank, chances are someone *will* haste you.

    On the other hand I've seen plenty of campaign's where if you try to tank any of the NM's, healer's just watch you die once you can no longer hold the mob yourself.

    Long story short:

    Tanks don't tank because they don't get healed.
    Healers don't heal because tanks don't tank.