Puppet’s Bunker is the second Alliance raid in the NieR: Automata crossover series within FFXIV. I meant to write about it back when it first came out, but now is just as good a time as any.
I’ll sum it up by saying: I ran it once just to see the story, stayed for the glamour.
I’ve had a long history of frustration with alliance raids, dating back to just about everything that came out after Void Ark. I felt like what was once somewhat more casual 24 man content suddenly took a turn for the quite difficult. And no longer was I confident to introduce just about anyone to this type of content (as I was in Crystal Tower), because I often found running them a chore.
The NieR: Automata series didn’t really change that for me. Factory was one of those instances where for one dumb reason or another, I died at least once during a run just about every time. This wasn’t the norm for me, and a lot of it has to do with the raid outstaying its welcome in length, especially the last two boss fights.
Now days, I tend to survive that raid a lot better since there’s a higher gear rating in general. But I still have to turn off all the battle effects of everyone else just to be able to see the bosses to respond to directional mechanics. This is the only raid I’ve ever needed to do that for.
Going into Puppet’s Bunker the first time, I told Syn I was planning on running it once. Only on my main. And just for the story clear. I’d seen pictures of the gear drops (shown all in black) and didn’t really pick out anything that appealed to me enough to want to run this alliance treadmill again.
That all changed when, somehow, on that very first run, I lucked out and got the caster chestpiece for my main (Red Mage). This didn’t really phase me when it happened, and it wasn’t until after the frustration of my first Bunker ran off that I thought to see what the piece looked like if it was any other color than black.
The nice thing about the raid gear is that it’s all dyeable (the first I think for any alliance gear). So when I previewed it in a nice teal color, I suddenly realized…
Dang. This gear looks good in a different color.
That was the beginning of the end.
I started previewing other sets and realized that I really, really wanted some of this gear on my RP alt. In fact, I wanted two sets for him, plus the caster set for my main.
My main already had gear that was superior in stats, so running this was totally for the glamour. There were some weeks I ran 4-5 times just to get a drop. Any drop. On my alt, this gear is actually an update in stats for me, so it was worth it.
But now I finally have the glamour sets I want…
Then, I made the mistake of rolling randomly for the Dragoon coat on my main (since I’d already gotten everything I wanted for casting). And went…
Dang. This coat is perfect for my actual Dragoon alt, Tai.
And so it begins again. I unlocked the raid series and ran it for the first time as melee last night. Much to my shock and excitement, the Dragoon coat dropped!
Running melee is a good deal more challenging than ranged or caster. Therefore, you don’t see a lot of Dragoons in these raids. Running ranged or caster, you almost always have competition for the drops… not so much as Dragoon. But still, I was stoked to get the coat the very first run.
My Thoughts on Puppet’s Bunker
So after having played this raid for a few months, I feel like Bunker is shorter and (once you learn the raid) easier than Factory. However, some of the mechanics in Bunker are not as intuitive – meaning, they’re harder to pick up on first glance and are things you usually learn from watching someone else (or a video).
Going into Bunker the first time, I watched a video beforehand. But that still wasn’t enough to get me through without lots of death. After my first run (when I determined I was going to run this more due to glamour desires), I watched about three other videos to piece together all the information on things I did wrong that lead to my demise.
It took several runs, but I can say that I mostly have a solid idea of how to play the raid. I usually don’t die, but sometimes random mechanics (usually on the last boss) can cause complications. With a good party of folks who know what they’re doing, this is often a smooth raid to run.
So overall, I haven’t minded running Bunker as much as I have to get the glamour and gear that I want. There’s mostly just a bit of a learning curve at the start to overcome.
I swear, though, those casting gloves do not exist. I’ve been at this for many, many weeks and still have not seen those gloves drop yet. They’re the last piece I need…