Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: The Wiping City of Mhach

 

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I’m a little torn on my feelings for the Weeping Wiping City of Mhach 24 man raid that came out last night in patch 3.3. I’ll get around to talking about feelings in a while, but let’s go into my first experience with the raid. Considering it was patch night and most people were going in blind, I feel the run we had last night, though we didn’t clear it in time, was probably the best possible I could have asked for.

I’m telling myself this is day one. I’m telling myself that folks are going in blind. I’m telling myself things will get easier as people gear up and learn the fight. I hope that’s true.

Difficulty Rampup

It’s no secret that the new raid is harder than Void Ark. In fact, this is probably the toughest 24-man raid I’ve experienced. I knew this before going in, since I read the salt on Reddit. And I’m… no I said I’d leave my feelings about this for later.

So, my FC forms a group (thankfully) of about 6 of the 8 it took for one party of the alliance. We’re all on Mumble because you almost have to be at this point. The mechanics… well… we’ll talk about that later.

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We actually got very, very lucky in the raid alliance that we got. There was a very patient and gracious player – Shiramuna Orbeno – who acted as a raid leader and taught us the mechanics of each fight.

Now, I don’t usually name names, but I have the highest praise for this player. They were encouraging even when we wiped, knowledgeable, and honestly there to see that the raid succeeded. If they aren’t already a mentor, they deserve the biggest, shiniest mentor crown.

I wish they were on my server so I could send them my thanks. I don’t know if they will ever see this, but it’s the only thanks I can send.

Mechanic Mayhem

The Weeping City is difficult because each boss has several mechanics and several phases. Now, I’m all for mechanics – I enjoy learning them and performing them correctly. But holy crud! I think Yoshi-P and company may have gone a bit overboard in the sheer number of mechanics you have to learn for each encounter.

My head was swimming after each boss (we wiped repeatedly on each one until we got it right). I could only boggle at how one would successfully teach so many mechanics (some not readily obvious) to someone new.

As an example, someone on Reddit did put together a set of teaching macros. Each boss has a veritable paragraph to tell you what you need to know. It’s crazy!

First boss:

/a Welcome to the Wiping City of Mchach, here’s the first boss!
/a A-Above, B-Below, C-Copy B.
/a Kill the spider and stand under it to fall down below!
/a While you’re above, run into the orbs before they reach the boss.
/a If you’re below, kill the knots at the edges of the arena and don’t die to the add.
/a She has Frond Fatale, you know how to counter this – Turn away!
/a When the ground turns to quicksand, stand in the webs. If you get the red mark, run to the edge so the web is far from the centre!

Second boss:

/a Time for the second boss, he’s a little creepy!
/a He’ll raise some adds. Kill these ASAP, otherwise they explode!
/a If you get a big red arrow over your head, stack in the middle of the room.
/a He’ll summon in three adds! Kill the Succubus and make sure to stun her while she casts Dark Mist!
/a There’s also an add that casts Mortal Gaze, kill him second but make sure to look away while he’s casting – if you don’t you’re DEAD.
/a After the adds are killed, he’ll start using Mega-Death. This instantly kills anyone not affected by Gradual Zombification, so stand in those big AoEs.
/a You can see where the AoEs will go by the placement of the bodies on the floor. Be there quickly, they activate really fast sometimes!
/a Finally, when there’s loads of lasers around the room, there needs to be at least one person in each, otherwise it’s a wipe.

Third boss:

/a Ozma, the toughest boss of the lot!
/a First off, don’t trip! If you run off the platform, you’re dead and can’t be revived.
/a While he’s a ball, he takes the most damage, so do as much as possible.
/a He’ll put big markers on people, the first time there’s only three, move clockwise to the connectors and put it there.
/a After the first time, there will be six! Put one clockwise and one at the far end of the platform. Everyone else, stack to the front and do some damage.
/a Healers, be prepared for the big damage these meteors do.
/a He’ll become a triangle. This one’s simple – don’t stand on the rectangle platforms! After his big hit, go back to the rectangle but watch out.
/a If you get a light blue debuff at any point, be prepared. When it gets to 3s, stop everything and STAND STILL until it wears off!
/a When he goes into square mode, stand close to him on the rectangles. After that, tanks move to the right of the rectangle. Be prepared with heavy cooldowns.
/a Healers beware, the orbs the tanks will be taking do a LOT of damage! If they’re too much, have the Tank take one and take the other yourself.
/a At one point he’ll suck everyone in. This is just Atomos. Stand on the platform and kill the Atomos and any adds, then drop down.
/a Wait for everyone to finish their Atomos then quickly kill the shadow – you’re on a timer here! When he casts Assimilation, look away quickly.
/a Sorry there was so much there, he’s a bit overwhelming!

Final boss:

/a Well, we made it past Ozma, that’s something!
/a This one’s much simpler. Stick to the side without the blade – she’ll swap it over sometimes, but the AoE she casts only comes on that one.
/a If someone gets caught in the AoE, make sure to cleanse the bleed! It hits very hard and will often kill.
/a When her hair burrows into the ground, avoid the area! Make sure to not even stand in front of it, as she can knock you back at times.
/a Flowers will sometimes sprout. Axe-headed ones are safe directly under them, hammer-headed ones are safe far away and spear-headed ones send out a line AoE.
/a Sometimes she will charge forwards. Stand behind her to not get hit and then dodge the hair AoE like usual.
/a The final thing of note is that she will mark people with a red marker. This is the chasing laser beam from Cloud of Darkness, so get a head start on it!

So, as I noted, we wiped several times on all bosses. By the second wipe on the second boss, we had someone wanting to vote abandon (figures). I think it might have been the tank in group A, because when the vote abandon got shot down, they left right afterwards.

Somehow, we refilled the group (was down one DPS, too), and kept pushing on. In the end, we got to the final boss with about 12 minutes left, and weren’t able to finish the raid because the timer ran out. Major bummer. 😦

Despite that, folks were generally positive and thankful for the run. I owe that to the player who led it being positive and encouraging the whole way through. Sometimes it just takes one person to rally the group, and that’s what happened last night.

I also got the dragoon legs as a drop off the third boss for Tai. This is excellent because I’ve been a lazy butt and did not grind for Lore Tomes this time around. Weeping City is my catch-up, so I can certainly use all the gear I can get.

Sadly, they ended up looking like a pair of black scale boxer shorts.

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A little drafty there, Tai?

Yeah… I glamoured that one real quickly.

Anyhow, I should have enough Lore Tomes pretty soon to score his chestpiece, which will probably be a big help.

Some Thoughts

I’m of two minds on this raid.

The folks I see cheering for it are the ones who want “more challenge” in the end game instances. I get that, I really do. And, as I said before, I don’t mind mechanics and learning (even when not all mechanics are very clear, which a lot of these are not).

I think that the dev team may have gotten as sick as I am of seeing end game folks cheesing mechanics to finish content. I’m to the point where I really, really dislike this, and I’ve refused to continue playing Alex raids due to bad experiences. The frustration just isn’t worth it to me.

But I also have lost trust that a group of 24 people in a duty finder can actually be relied on to carry out difficult mechanics. I’ve seen what Crystal Tower and Void Ark have become.

In contrast, Weeping City is not a place to get carried. I used to say that 24 man raids in FFXIV were casual friendly and mostly laid back. There were some rough fights, but for the most part, if you made mistakes, you wouldn’t wipe the whole raid.

In Weeping City, I don’t feel the same. I do feel that everyone has to perform well to pull it off, at least, at this point. I feel it’s a punishing raid that expects a lot out of players – but also has the potential to be rewarding if you get it right.

Shooting skyward after finally beating Ozma.
Shooting skyward after finally beating Ozma.

However, the other hand of this is, it’s supposed to be a place for those who didn’t choose to grind their brains out for Lore Tomes to catch up with gear. I have two characters that need this catch-up gear on several jobs. I was relying on this to get me up to date.

But I don’t feel this raid (at this point) is reliable. Not only is there no promise of dropping the gear you need, but there’s no promise you can even beat the bosses that drop the gear (before the party dissolves out of saltiness). Heck, finishing the raid isn’t even a promise at this point.

I’ve always advertised the casual-friendly nature of the 24-man raids as a perk of this game. The sheer number of mechanics each boss requires you to perform, however, takes it a big notch up for casuals (and I consider myself one of these). The stress level is bordering on Alex raids to me… the only difference is you’re trying to herd 24 people through it, which can be impossible to accomplish depending on who you get grouped with.

Am I asking for a nerf on this? No. It’s too early to tell if the community will be able to rise to the higher difficulty bar or not. However, I’m not thrilled at the thought that Weeping City is going to be a rough time with no promise of reward every week.

RIP
RIP

At least the Moogle Beast Tribe quests have been relaxing and rewarding so far. XD