Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Steps of Faith Nightmares


Update: As anticipated, Steps of Faith got a nerf in patch 2.57. Hopefully this will help prevent stories like mine from replaying in the future.

And maybe folks will stop auto-dropping this trial, too. Maybe.

So last night, I reached the Steps of Faith Pain trial on Zuri while working to complete the main scenario story and get her ready for Heavensward. I knew that it would be tough to do using the Duty Finder. I just didn’t know that it would be near impossible.


-Steps of Faith Begins-

Me: Hello!


DPS: I shoulda just run Ifrit HM four times to finish my poetics. Why did I roulette?

Tank: Here, guys, I’ll save you from the pain! *drops*

*Rest of group drops, too*

Me: I… uh… actually need this for story progression. Guys? … Guys?

That was how my first DF went last night. I knew that I was going to be in for a nasty ride. It seems that people hate this trial so badly they will actually eat the 30 min penalty to avoid having to do it.

One sympathetic DPS paused before leaving and left me with these sage words: I suggest you get friends together, or at least use the Party Finder. Good luck. 

I was resolved to keep trying, however. The queues weren’t so long for a lone DPS that I was turned away from giving it another shot. What I found was extremely painful.


-Steps of Faith (Take 2) Begins-

Me: Hi all! Who’s got cannons and DK? 

*silence* …. … ….. 

Me: Uh… great. I’ve got cannon. Who’s second cannon? 

*silence* … … … 


The mechanics of Steps of Faith aren’t hard, to be completely honest. A huge dragon walks slowly down the bridge towards the final warded gate. Two people grab cannons positioned on the bridge and use it to damage the boss dragon and all the adds. From time to time, there’s a tower with a Dragon Killer (DK) harpoon located at the top that someone must fire at the dragon. The DK is what does a majority of the damage unless you have a really high output DPS group.

Every single team I explained as much as I could for each player doing each mechanic.


Me: Climb the tower. You’ll see a red target on the ground. Shoot the dragon once the dragon’s body is in the circle. 

DK Person: *shoots the DK too soon*

NPC: A wasted opportunity!
Translation: How could you miss a dragon the size of a jet plane?

DK Person: What happened? 

Me: *repeats* Only shoot the dragon once the dragon’s body is in the circle.



I was essentially trying to herd cats to keep the mechanics running smoothly. Because if you don’t do the mechanics, you’re not going to win with a DF party no matter what. It was just the matter of getting people to actually read what you write in chat to get things done.


Me: Okay, this time we have to fire snares at the dragon before you can shoot the–

DK Person: *shoots DK and misses*

NPC: What? How could such a huge beast avoid such a shot?
Translation: Really? We even told you that you needed to snare it before–

DK Person: How did that miss? 

Me: *repeats* We have to fire snares at the dragon before you can hit it with the DK.



The main problem is that this trial is part of the main scenario, hence gating the ability to move on into Heavensward when the expansion releases. I’m not sure this is the case of “they’ll get better and learn the mechanics and it’ll get easier to beat in time” mostly because I’ve seen people just drop this trial before suffering through another round with it.

If new folks are coming in who need it for story, and people who already beat it refuse to help or teach (or simply can’t teach because they never ran the cannons or DK and don’t know how it worked), this is going to be painful for people who need to complete this in the future. It’s very rare that I speak negatively about a trial or dungeon in FFXIV, because usually, with perseverance, a Duty Finder group can get through most of the story content. I’m just not sure it’s going to happen with this particular trial.


-Start again. Fast forward to first DK.- 

Me: Ready DK! 

DK Person: Waiting for your snare! 

Me: First DK doesn’t need a snare. Go ahead and shoot! 

DK Person: *doesn’t shoot* 

Me: Shoot! Shoot! 

DK Person: *doesn’t shoot* 

NPCS: Man, you guys just suck… 



I spent hours failing on this trial with three different parties last night. We had lots of folks who dropped. We had people who sincerely tried to get the mechanics. We even had one frustrating run where we hit the boss with all three DK and still didn’t do enough damage to the boss because too many DPS died over and over along the way.


*tank doesn’t pull add off me, and I die at the cannon due to fire or poison damage* 

Me: I’m down! Someone needs to grab second snare! Hurry! 


DK Person: *can’t hit with DK because no one activated second snare*

NPCS: *facepalm* 



At that point, I really didn’t know what to do. I was worn out from hours of narrating the fight to folks who couldn’t stop to read what people were frantically writing in group chat. I probably annoyed the crap out of people… but the only way to win is to do the mechanics. And everyone who wasn’t on cannon duty was ignoring the fact that people on the cannons, or assigned to the DK, can still die and need instant replacements.

The one time I did get a good second cannon, it happened to be a healer. Of course, then the DPS, who couldn’t stay alive for being trampled, started whining about healers needing to heal (though the other healer said many times that he could solo heal it, and he could). So they pulled him off the cannons and put another bard on… who not only didn’t do cannons most the time, but couldn’t snare…


Me: Snare! Snare now!

Cannon 2: *doesn’t snare* 

Me: It’s that yellow pillar with the word “Snare” above it sitting right in front of your cannon!

Cannon 2: *doesn’t snare* 

DK Person: *can’t shoot DK* 

NPC: *cries into his hot chocolate* 



We won? We actually won?
We won? We actually won?

So, I finally had to fall back on the kindness of FC members. We went in four strong and instantly claimed both cannons and DK control. Immediately, a tank dropped without a word. I groaned. Things were already off to a bad start.

Luckily, we retained the rest of the group, though they went ahead and pulled even missing a tank. We honestly came very close to beating it with only 7 people, so when we got a tank replacement before the next run, we had it in the bag.

That’s the interesting thing about this fight: you struggle and struggle usually… but when everything is lined up… when tanks are pulling right, cannons are taking down adds, and DPS can focus on the boss, you can even kill the boss after the second DK drop. Which is what we did. It was a resounding win.

And the NPCs cried with joy. As did Zuri.

The win aside, I remain really concerned about the future players coming through the story only to get gated by this trial. While it may look good on paper, and really isn’t that terrible if everyone is doing their part, it’s apparently a lot to ask from a rag-tag PUG group in the DF.

It’s a frustrating three or so hours of my life I won’t get back, and I really don’t look forward to having to see this trial ever again. Though I know I will because it takes a FC to get it done, and our members will eventually need a group who knows how to do it.


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22 thoughts on “FFXIV: Steps of Faith Nightmares

  1. The Step of Faith In Everyone Dropping more like.

    I personally think there should be an auto-Duty failed part of the fight if Vishap has too much HP at certain points, the fight will auto-fail you and start over. I think that would stop people from dropping as much since a lot of the dropping simply comes from having to play the ENTIRE sequence out no matter what. Where in trials like primal fights, you’ll wipe and start over so it FEELS faster.

    People are willing to do trial and error when they aren’t stuck playing one trial longer than they have a chance of winning.


    1. I totally agree with this. If you miss the DK and you KNOW you’re not going to recover, it’s just a long slog of suffering to have to keep playing the trial out to its obvious end.

      I hope they revisit this trial’s design and think about why people are refusing to play it.


      1. …And the steps of faith in yourself as party leader?

        Actually, if I understand correctly, this is an 8-man dungeon. Coupled with the boss mechanics, I’d say you’re making your first steps as raid leader!


        1. Nooooooooo thank you!

          Though, if there was some sort of voice chat for PUGs, I think we could have beat it. It just needed people listening to instruction… which wasn’t happening with written chat.


        2. Well that is usually the issue with it. Most people from random runs don’t really read chat. Voice chat might help but people who are unwilling to even look at the chat… well I don’t think they’d listen anyway. =/

          Well To be honest there are good ones and bad ones. Only thing to do would be to either have your own party for the mechanic related things or to be lucky to get two or more people who are willing to actually listen.

          It’s like this with most of the new duns and raids at first, even if this one has been on for a while, most people are either undergeared or too used to just being carried or powering through content.

          I saw it many times in WoW. When you got supposedly good players, gearwise I mean, but they had no idea what they were supposed to do and had bad habits from just rushing and powering through things. =(


        3. I’ve seen that happen a lot too. You see someone with good gear and you think you’re dealing with an experienced player, but then they just refuse to listen to any kind of plan.

          Voice chat certainly helps, but many people are uncomfortable to use it with strangers. Sometimes,in fights like this, it can be as simple as to remind people to pay attention to the chat. One thing I’ve done a few times in WoW was to make a simple chat macro that would say something like “SNARED! SHOOT THE DK NOW!”.

          Yes, all in caps and in the ‘yell’ form of chat, so it would appear large and red in the chat box. Then just mash that button a bit, because in these cases, there’s no such thing as spam.


  2. Whelp this doesn’t put me in good spirits for the fight. I have to get to it first though XD Still when I do I will probably just hope to get lucky on the DF. .-.

    No use getting down on something I have no idea how it’ll go though. Knowing it by the time I get to it, it’ll either be changed or people will be better at it. 😉 One can hope. XD


    1. I also hope there will be a change in the way that this trial runs… or in the attitudes of people running it in roulette. Though, apparently, the problem is that roulette is getting spammed with this trial a lot due to the number of people needing to finish it. So people who are trying to run roulette for Poetics are getting very short tempered with it.

      Hopefully it’ll get better once the community calms down.


        1. Oh, you’re right about that. I always get them mixed up because they’re about the same thing to me. I’ve never unlocked or rouletted either of them (nor would I really want to… that’s just me).


    1. Wow, congrats on that! Maybe they were a FC group that filled in the party blanks in the DF? That’s what always happens when we get a group together to run it. Folks in the DF are often pleasantly surprised to beat it. XD


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