I reached the point in the MSQ where I had to do the Crystal Tower quests to advance. This is a series of quests that leads you to complete 3 raids: Labyrinth of the Ancients, Syrcus Tower, and World of Darkness. Once again I do like the design here, everybody has to raid to advance in the plot and open up new areas.
The raids themselves aren’t too hard. The fights alternate between “trash fights” and “mini boss” fights, with the usual mechanics of extra adds, move out of the telegraphed attack areas, etc. However, at least one fight per raid does throw some extra stuff at you.
In Labyrinth of the Ancients, during the King Behemoth fight, he’ll attack players and leave a giant pile of rocks. Stand behind that pile when he casts Meteor because the rock pile will protect you.
Later, the special attack of the final boss is something to watch for: Ancient Flare by Phlegethon. It kills everyone unless the raid group runs to the platforms at the edge of the arena.
In Syrcus tower, the Amon fight is similar to King Behemoth from Labyrinth, except Amon will freeze players with a pile of ice. Stand behind that pile of ice when he casts Curtain Call and you’ll be protected.
Later, the final boss special attack is Ancient Quagga from Xande. This does enormous damage unless you stand in the aura of his previous attack. It splits damage among players, but also makes them float above the floor… and floating players take no damage from Ancient Quagga.
In World of Darkness, I would put the toughest fight as the first real fight, after clearing the initial trash. That would be Angra Mainyu who has 4+ mechanics to watch out for. He is the boss the taught me the value of “focus target” (shift F) which pulls up a smaller window of the target stats and cast bar. This lets me switch to a different target, such as a player in order to heal them, or an add in order to attack, while still keeping an “eye” (haha, a pun since Angra is a giant floating eyeball) on the focus target.
- Mortal Gaze, which is avoided by looking away (turning around in game). If not, run to the light up circles in the middle of the room quickly.
- Double Vision, which splits the room into red and white floors. You need to alternate which color you stand in.
- Roulette, which splits the room into 4 quadrants with one add each. Don’t be in the last quadrant when the last add dies.
- Level 100 Flare and level 150 Doom: keep running out of the circle if you are tethered.
It’s crazy, whoever designed this encounter must have won a bet at the Square Enix offices, because Angra has more mechanics than basically the rest of the raid combined.
OK, there is a fun/crazy fight against Cerebus, where one group tries to get shrunken down and eaten by Cerebus, to fight in his stomach! But this is smooth sailing compared to Angra, where there is so much to look out for.
Duty Finder to the rescue and I managed to knock off these raids in a few days, and advance in the MSQ. Soon I’ll open up Ishgard, new zones, new jobs!