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  1. #1
    CoP Dynamis
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    [Guide] Black Mage - Because, heavy deeps, that's why.

    this is the initial version: I know BLM isn't that complex, but I get tired of seeing blm's do bliz3 (UI3)>bliz3(at full mp)>thunder3 (at full mp), etc. And I wanted a consolidated theorycrafting thread for this, rather than having to find the blm discussion thread burried under other crap. Feel free to PM me with info/data/tests, or post below. Enjoy.

    Updates:
    2/9/2014
    •Updated AoE rotation again, and added BiS tags in the gear section

    1/26/2014
    •Updated the AoE rotation: credit to Taim Mech

    1/23/2014
    •Added some notes on Thunder "DPS": Thanks for pointing out that it maybe wasn't so clear to everyone that might be reading Taim Mech and Radec.
    •Added notes on Astral Fire +dmg, and opposing elements -DMG: credit to Radec

    1/20/2014
    • Corrected a couple of typos and incorrect info: thanks to Radec, TheDirtyHobo and Jem.
    • Added Rotations

    1/19/2014
    • Finished gear listing; will add BiS / stats breakouts in a later update (soon)


    Table of Contents
    I. Introduction
    II. Abilities
    III. Rotation
    IV. Macros
    V. Gear
    VI. Videos
    VI. References


    I. Introduction
    Background:
    I started my Black Mage sorties in FFXI as something to help out some very well versed/geared BLM friends in my Linkshell do duo/trio BLM kills (Shout out to Tgun and Miquack of Sevasha LS, this is Javelin ;p), and as a way to get points for Salvage entry faster. I quickly became engrossed in getting the best gear possible and performing low-man/solo kills that others had done just to see if I had what it takes. This same feeling applies to BLM in this game, not my first job, but i do thoroughly enjoy it, and personally can't wait for proper content that allows for challenging (but possible) content for solo/low-man afficianados.

    Assumptions:
    This guide is made for level 50 Black Mages, to attempt to implement change in the way new folks learn to play, and hopefully mold old Black Mages into proper high output dps players.

    Since this will come up I'm sure, I'm going to put in the dps formula (by potency numbers):
    Damage Per (Casting) Second: dps=(potency+(DoT Potency/# of DoT tics))/casting time: This is delineated from pure dps, since pure dps numbers are based on damage over single second, but pure dps is a bad gauge of DoT spells since they take a relatively long time to give full potency, but only take 2.5-3.5 seconds to cast. So the above formula is cumulative damage per second for every second spent casting.

    there are other ways to look at damage, damage per mp point, etc. but since BLM essentially has unending mana, and given the Piety Standard (251) you can cast your full rotation without going so low that you wont have enough for bliz3, damage per mp is a less efficient way of looking at BLM damage in general (there are some exceptions).

  2. #2
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    II. Abilities

    Thaumaturge:

    Blizzard: 150pot/2.5s cast=60dps

    Blizzard II: AoE cast on self; 50pot x # of enemies/2s cast=25dps x # of enemies (also binds enemies)

    Blizzard III: 220pot/3.5s cast=63.85dps

    Fire: 150pot/2.5s cast=60dps

    Fire II: AoE; 100pot x # of enemies/3s cast=33.33dps * # of enemies

    Fire III: 220pot/3.5s cast=63.85dps

    Note on Fire DPS numbers: These are without Astral Fire 1/2/3 calculated in, AF3 is an approximate +80% damage, so under AF3: Fire= 108~dps, Fire II=60~dps * number of targets, Fire III=115~dps

    Note on using opposing elements for fire based or ice based spells: The only data I have access to says -50% damage to spells cast that are the opposite element to the current apect you have up.

    Thunder: (30pot +(35potx6))/2.5s cast=96dps

    Thunder II: (50pot +(35potx7))/3s cast=98.33dps

    Thunder III: (60pot +(35potx8))/3.5s cast=97.14dps

    Note on Thunder DPS numbers: while they are very high, this is Damage Per Second spent casting, it takes the full duration of the DoT effect to get the full damage from the spell, cutting it short by any duration lessens the cumulative DPS, e.g. constantly casting Thunder2, will give you very poor parsing numbers and prove that you are the worst BLM in the game and possibly bought your character, because you obviously didn't level it yourself. Enjoy ;p


    Scathe: 120pot/2.5s (invokes GCD)=48dps (20% chance to double potency)

    Lethargy: Inflicts target with Slow and Heavy +20%. Duration: 12s

    Aetherial Manipulation: Rush to a target party member's side. Unable to cast if bound.

    Manaward: Creates a barrier that nullifies magic damage totalling up to 30% of maximum HP. Duration: 20s

    Swiftcast: Next spell is cast immediately. Duration: 10s

    Sleep: AoE, 2.5s cast; Puts target and enemies near it to sleep. Duration: 30s
    Cancels auto-attack upon execution.

    Surecast: Next spell is cast without interruption. Duration: 10s
    Additional Effect: 15% chance Surecast will have no recast time (Level 16+)

    Transpose: Swaps Astral Fire with a single Umbral Ice, or Umbral Ice with a single Astral Fire.

    Arcanist:

    Ruin: DPS: 80pot/2.5s cast=32dps
    Comment: The lowest dps spell usable by BLM, don't set this to crass-class abilites.

    Physick: Restores target's HP. Cure Potency: 400, casting time 2 seconds.
    Comment: I will say that I usuaully don't have this set in party scenarios, but if I'm in a PUG or CT or Fate's, I might toss it on.

    Virus: Reduces target's STR, DEX by 15%. Duration: 10s
    Comment: I will usually have this set and macro'd with Lethargy and Apocatasis to save hotbar room when playing with a controller

    Eye for an Eye: Erects a magicked barrier arround a single party member or pet. Barrier Effect: 20% chance that when barrier is struck, the striker will deal 10% less damage. Duration: 20s
    Comment: Still leveling Arc completely, don't have this yet, but I could see the use in instances like Twintania to help rotate in on the Main tank.

    Archer:

    Raging Strikes: Increases damage dealt by 20% Duration: 20s
    Comment: The best cross-class ability, get it or get beat by other BLM's by 20% dps for 20 seconds at a time, extremely useful to save (or time with) situations like Titan's heart, where you need more burst dps.

    Hawk's Eye: Increases DEX by 15% and guarantee that all attacks land. Duration: 20s
    Comment: Useful for short bursts if Accuracy is an issue.

    Quelling Strikes: educes enmity generated by each attack. Duration: 15s
    Comment: Useful in situations where enmity is fragile and you would normally have to slow down dps otherwise, turn 4 of Coil: Knights and Soldiers comes to mind.

    Black Mage:

    Convert: Sacrifices 20% of maximum HP to restore 30% of MP.
    Cannot be executed when current HP is lower than 20%.

    Freeze: AoE; 100pot x # of enemies/3s cast=28.6dps x # of enemies (also binds enemies)

    Apocatastasis: Increases a Disciple of War or Magic party member's resistance to fire, ice, and lightning by 30%.
    Duration: 12s
    Cannot be reused on an individual for 60 seconds from when the effect wears off. Cannot be cast on self.

    Manawall: Creates a barrier that nullifies two physical attacks.
    Duration: 60s

    Flare: 260pot x # of enemies/4s cast=65dps x # of enemies.

  3. #3
    CoP Dynamis
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    III. Rotation

    Notes on Umbral Ice (UI) and Astral Fire (AF): awaiting further data to fill this out to make it more useful...until then, Umbral Ice 1 causes mp to be restored at a highly increased rate, moreso with UI2 and 3. Astral Fire 1 causes fire based spells to do more damage (Flare, Fire, Fire2, Fire3), AF2 and 3 moreso.

    Single Target + High HP (Bosses)

    Outset of fight/upkeep:

    This assumes minimum 251 PIE, for 5 Fire casts.

    Thunder3>>Fire3>>Fire>>Fire>>Fire>>Fire>>Fire>>Bli zzard3>> (REPEAT, replacing Thunder3 with Thunder2 after the start of the fight)
    - If Swiftcast+Convert is up after the last cast of Fire in the rotation then you do Fire>>Swiftcast+Flare>>Convert>Fire>>Blizzard3 (If you do not have Swiftcast AND Convert up, Flare will bottle neck damage unless you NEED the Swiftcast>Flare to perform one of these feats: finish a fight, finish a Titan heart, kill the last Ifrit nail, kill the last Garuda Sister, finish multiple trash mobs with aoe and you will have time afterwards to regen mp naturally...otherwise there are better options.

    - If at any time Firestarter or Thundercloud procs, use these. With the below advice on usage and timing: Credit to Sylvdragon and Azurewrath:

    - "Use Thundercloud and Firestarter procs as they occur (use Thunder 3 for Thundercloud). If you don't have Convert up, then skip the Flare and go straight into Bliz 3. If you get a Firestarter Proc on the last Fire in the cycle, then you want to sit on the proc through your Umbral Ice phase (you should already be halfway through your Bliz3 before the proc even registers) and Transpose once your mana is full so that the Fire 3 hits with at least Astral 1 for some additional damage instead of wasting it in Umbral 3." - Sylvrdragon

    -"if you get a tc proc, cast a fire, then immediately use the tc proc, the fire means that if it procced firestarter, you'll see it during the gcd of your thunder3, and then you can cast your free f3, in the end it can get you an extra firestarter proc in the rotation because you arent casting a fire 1 when you may get a firestarter proc" - Azurewrath

    - Reasoning behind using Thunder2 over Thunder3 mid-fight: due to casting time of Thunder3 generally causing a bottleneck of dps because you will be at full mp for an extra half tic, thunder2, or even thunder1 should be used because the intent of BLM is to return to the Fire Rotation as soon as you have full mp, not an extra second later.


    Single Target +Low HP (trash mobs)

    I will preface this with: DO NOT use Thunder on mobs that won't last as long as the duration of the DoT unless you have a carryover Thundercloud proc somehow, do more fire!

    Swiftcast(if up)>>Fire3 (if Astral Fire3 is not already up)>>Fire>>Fire>>Fire>>Fire>>Fire>>(Convert if you need another Fire)>>Blizzard3> Anything that is not dead by now, should start with Thunder1 or 2, e.g. Duty Roulette and the dps is low on Dullahan's in Ampador Keep, can probably start with Thunder1/2 and safely not lose any dps)

    Try to end the fight with Blizzard3, so that you can start the next mob with full mp and a quickly casted Fire3.

    Area of Effect

    Fire3(If Astral Fire3 is not already up) >>Flare>>>Convert>>Flare>>Mega-Ether>>Flare>>Transpose>>Double-Flare>>Double-Flare (until stuff is dead): highest overall DPS for AoE, link below in the video/reference section on execution of double-flares. Convert and Mega-Ether usage can be swapped, and generally swiftcast can be used wherever you want (I save it for the 2nd flare in my 1st double flare set, since mobs are dying at this point and lengthy cast times while mobs go down leads to interuptions).

    For Garuda EX, a single decently geared BLM can usually kill all of the Razor plumes solo if all of the plumes are close together (have everyone but the off tank stack up behind garuda)(phases after the stones are detroyed) with Swiftcast>>Flare>Convert>>Fire2>>Bliz3 on garuda>>then continue your single target rotation on Garuda, for highest overall DPS numbers, and faster kill times on the 1 mob that matters.

  4. #4
    CoP Dynamis
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    IV. Macros

    These are still works in progress, since BLM doesn't see much in the way of a need for macros to to more damage, but to save some space on the hotbar for controller users trying to better support their group their is some small need.

    This is what I've currently been using for an all in one support ability macro, and it works pretty well for me to weave in spells and not really miss a beat, make sure to coordinate with healers and other mages for timing and order on Virus and Eye for an Eye.

    /macroicon "Eye for an Eye" (or Virus, I wouldn't do Apoc or Lethargy personally because they are less useful, but that's your choice)
    /ac "Eye for an Eye" <tt>
    /wait 2
    /ac "Virus" <t>
    /wait 2
    /ac "Apocatastasis" <tt>
    /wait 2
    /ac "Lethargy" <t>

    And for most fights I have Manawall and Manaward combined into a spam macro rather than a wait macro:

    /macroicon "Manawall" (or manaward)
    /ac "Manawall" <me>
    /ac "Manaward" <me>

  5. #5
    CoP Dynamis
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    V. Gear
    Comment: some crafted weapons/gear and GC gear are missing from the list on purpose, notably on crafted weapons, the other options are generally better/easier/cheaper to aquire. On crafted gear below i70 (militia items), for most slots other than belt, ilvl50~ AF1 quested gear is more cost effective to use and just wait on upgrade to Demagogue/Warlock's or Darklight/Vanya, rather than buying/crafting gear and having to meld the crap out of it to make it barely better than AF1.

    Another note on i70 crafted accessories (Astral/Rose Gold)- these are situationally better than i90 pieces because of the addition of survivability with VIT melds, but if death isn't an issue, the i90 pieces are overall better for dps output.

    Main Hand:
    i95: Allagan Sceptor BiS
    i90: Stardust Rod Zenith
    i90: Elder Staff
    i90: Direwolf Longstaff
    i80: The Cudgel of Crags
    i80: Stardust Rod
    i75: Maleficent Mogstaff
    i70: Garuda's Van
    i70: Warwolf Pole
    i60: Ifrit's Cudgel
    i55: GC weapon of choice

    Off Hand:
    i90: Ancient Buckler BiS
    i70: Darksteel Buckler
    i55: Darklight Square Shield
    i52: Aubriest's Allagory
    i46: Serpent Sergeant's Targe

    Head:
    i90: Allagan Circlet of Casting BiS
    i90: Sorcerer's Petasos
    i80: Crimson Circlet
    i70: Vanya Hat of Casting
    i70: Rose Gold Circlet
    i60: Demagogue Mask
    i55: Warlock's Hat
    i50: Wizard's Petasos

    Body:
    i90: Allagan Tunic of Casting BiS
    i90: Sorcerer's Coat
    i80: Crimson Vest
    i70: Darklight Cowl of Casting
    i70: Vanya Robe of Casting
    i60: Demagogue Half Robe
    i55: Warlock's Robe
    i55: Wizard's Coat


    Hands:
    i90: Allagan Gloves of Casting BiS
    i90: Sorcerer's Gloves
    i80: Crimson Celestial Gloves
    i70: Vanya Gloves of Casting
    i70: Darklight Gloves of Casting
    i60: Demagogue Halfgloves
    i60: Austere Ringbands
    i55: Warlock's Ringbands
    i50: Wizard's Gloves

    Waist:
    i90: Allagan Rope Belt of Casting BiS
    i90: Hero's Belt of Casting
    i80: Crimson Sash
    i70: Vanya Cash of Casting
    i70: Darklight Sash of Casting
    i60: Austere Satchel Belt
    i60: Demagogue Rope Belt
    i55: Warlock's Satchel Belt
    i55: Militia Belt

    Legs:
    i90: Allagan Breeches of Casting
    i90: Sorcerer's Tonban BiS
    i80: Crimson Breeches
    i70: Darklight Breeches of Casting
    i70: Vanya Breeches of Casting
    i60: Demagogue chauses
    i60: Austere Tights
    i55: Warlock's Tights
    i50: Wizard's Tonban

    Feet:
    i90: Allagan Boots of Casting co-BiS
    i90: Sorcerer's Crakows co-BiS
    i80: Crimson Shoes
    i70: Darklight Boost of Casting
    i70: Vanya Crakows
    i60: Demagogue Patterns
    i60: Austere Leggings
    i55: Warlock's Patterns
    i47: Wizard's Crakows

    Neck:
    i90: Allagan Choker of Casting
    i90: Hero's Necklace of Casting BiS
    i80: Ultima Choker of Casting
    i70: Astral Choker
    i70: Darklight Choker of Casting
    i60: Demagogue Choker
    i52: Mage's Choker
    i48: Black Pearl Choker / Zircon Choker

    Ears:
    i90: Allagan Earrings of Casting co-BiS
    i90: Hero's Earrings of Castingco-BiS
    i90: Tremor Earrings of Casting
    i70: Rose Gold Earrings
    i70: Darklight Earrings of Casting
    i60: Demagogue Earrings
    i52: Mage's Earrings
    i49: Black Pearl Earrings / Zircon Earrings

    Wrist:
    i90: Allagan Bracelets of Casting
    i90: Hero's Bracelets of Casting BiS
    i90: Inferno Bangle of Casting
    i70: Astral Bracelet
    i70: Darklight Bracelet of Casting
    i60: Demagogue Wristlets
    i48: Black Pearl Bracelet / Zircon Bracelet

    Rings:
    i90: Allagan Ring of Casting
    i90: Hero's Ring of Casting BiS
    i90: Vortex Ring of Casting BiS
    i80: Ultima Band of Casting
    i70: Astral Ring
    i70: Darklight Band of Casting
    i60: Demagogue Ring
    i52: Mage's Ring
    i49: Black Pearl Ring / Zircon Ring

  6. #6
    CoP Dynamis
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    VI. Videos and References

    Videos:

    Double-Flare: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82L9IbUPMxU

    References:

  7. #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Indomitable Will View Post
    Hawk's Eye: Increases DEX by 15% and physical accuracy by 20%. Duration: 20s
    Comment: What the? Why? No.
    The effect has been changed to increase DEX by 15% and guarantee that all attacks land.

  8. #8
    CoP Dynamis
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evane View Post
    The effect has been changed to increase DEX by 15% and guarantee that all attacks land.
    Thanks, will update that....still not quite worth it unless you are low on acc I don't think, but a good options for folks that are still gearing I suppose.

  9. #9
    CoP Dynamis
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    I don't have access to reddit and other sources at this time, does anyone know if there is a drop off in potency of AoE spells as the number of mobs increases? I know Limit Breaks do, but not sure on regular spells.

  10. #10
    Radsourceful

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    Limit doesn't drop off on number of targets (or if it does, it's a tiny amount) - think of every WP speedrun pull, it deals roughly the same damage to 10 mobs as a single.

    AoE Spells similarly do the same damage to all numbers of targets.

    Blizz2 is 50 potency

    Thunders are 35/tic dot - thunder1 x6, t2 x7, t3 x8

    Freeze is a 3 cast(Edit, I had 2.5)

    Missing the arguably most important 'traits', AF3/UI3 - potency/sec numbers are misleading without the effect of either

    I can't agree with Manaward/Wall on the same macro - they're completely different uses. You wouldn't esuna a tank at 1hp, neither would you pop manawall just before a strong magical attack.

    I play on Mouse/Keyboard, if you ABSOLUTELY must macro all your target cooldowns together for controller, fine, but for a system with realistic keybinding they should all be split for the different situations that call for them.

    Speaking of keybind, in general do away with a 1234567890-= set for your macros - I'm using `12345qefgxv as they're all reachable by 1 hand.

  11. #11
    Relic Horn
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    Is there a particular reason you're saying thunder spells are all 4 ticks? Aren't they 6/7/8 ticks, or am I missing something somewhere?

  12. #12
    Yoshi P
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    Just a note: Since dots (almost?) always have a duration evenly divisible by 3 when doing paper math you should always have them be one tick less. IE: 5, 6, and 7 ticks per thunder 1, 2, and 3 cast. Wonder if thundercloud adds the full perfect world 6/7/8 ticks or not.

  13. #13
    Relic Horn
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    You aren't counting the 0 second tick (is one even possible?), so no, you don't do that. Take Thunder 1 for example, duration of 18 seconds.

    0 seconds: dot applied
    Some time between 0-3 seconds: 1st tick
    Some time between 3-6 seconds: 2nd tick
    Some time between 6-9 seconds: 3rd tick
    Some time between 9-12 seconds: 4th tick
    Some time between 12-15 seconds: 5th tick
    Some time between 15-18 seconds: 6th tick
    18 seconds: dot wears off


    You will always get 6 ticks (and maybe the "perfect world" 7th tick if possible/lucky) no matter when the global dot tick is relative to when you get the dot off.

  14. #14
    CoP Dynamis
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radec View Post
    Limit doesn't drop off on number of targets (or if it does, it's a tiny amount) - think of every WP speedrun pull, it deals roughly the same damage to 10 mobs as a single.

    AoE Spells similarly do the same damage to all numbers of targets. - Yeah I wasn't sure on this, haven't really had time to test it personally, and was at work, so no access to reddit.
    Blizz2 is 50 potency - Thanks might have been looking at ffxivinfo.com at work, which is poorly updated.

    Thunders are 35/tic dot - thunder1 x6, t2 x7, t3 x8 -Only srouces I have available to me right now say 40pot/tic for thunder 1, 30 initial potency.
    and the reason I put 4/5/6, is because the duration is 12/15/18 seconds/3 second tic intervals=4/5/6, unless you have a link to post that shows that the dot effect happens exactly when you cast it as well as exactly when it falls off (which I doubt currently), it stays as is (again sources may be out of date, so if you have a link to somewhere that shows it, I'll give that credence)


    Freeze is a 3 cast(Edit, I had 2.5)

    Missing the arguably most important 'traits', AF3/UI3 - potency/sec numbers are misleading without the effect of either- didn't post those because I was not able to look up the exact percentages of damage increase, or if it's a base potency increase, and I didn't want to put in something generic like, "UI3 gives mp, AF3 makes you do more dmg", also I will probably put a note in the rotation section about these and what they do, since they aren't really abililties.

    I can't agree with Manaward/Wall on the same macro - they're completely different uses. You wouldn't esuna a tank at 1hp, neither would you pop manawall just before a strong magical attack. -the thing is that either you're in a boss that hits you with physical, or magic, usually it's not both, e.g. garuda you get hit with the thrown air wheel thing, and the arena wide aoe's, that should be about it unless you're bad at dodging, Titan is Stomps and Arena Wide AoE, etc. Also, I did say I usually use this macro, not always, if I'm in a fight where I do need to split them, then I would.

    I play on Mouse/Keyboard, if you ABSOLUTELY must macro all your target cooldowns together for controller, fine, but for a system with realistic keybinding they should all be split for the different situations that call for them.

    Speaking of keybind, in general do away with a 1234567890-= set for your macros - I'm using `12345qefgxv as they're all reachable by 1 hand.


    And thanks for the reply, useful criticism, some things updated.

  15. #15
    CoP Dynamis
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDirtyHobo View Post
    You aren't counting the 0 second tick (is one even possible?), so no, you don't do that. Take Thunder 1 for example, duration of 18 seconds.

    0 seconds: dot applied
    Some time between 0-3 seconds: 1st tick
    Some time between 3-6 seconds: 2nd tick
    Some time between 6-9 seconds: 3rd tick
    Some time between 9-12 seconds: 4th tick
    Some time between 12-15 seconds: 5th tick
    Some time between 15-18 seconds: 6th tick
    18 seconds: dot wears off


    You will always get 6 ticks (and maybe the "perfect world" 7th tick if possible/lucky) no matter when the global dot tick is relative to when you get the dot off.
    Think you meant thunder3? 18s duration.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDirtyHobo View Post
    Is there a particular reason you're saying thunder spells are all 4 ticks? Aren't they 6/7/8 ticks, or am I missing something somewhere?
    was a typo

  17. #17
    Claustrum. Really?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Indomitable Will View Post
    Think you meant thunder3? 18s duration.
    Thunder 3 is 24 seconds duration.

    Thunder 1 = 18 secs
    Thunder 2 = 21 secs
    Thunder 3 = 24 secs

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jem View Post
    Thunder 3 is 24 seconds duration.

    Thunder 1 = 18 secs
    Thunder 2 = 21 secs
    Thunder 3 = 24 secs
    well then, I'll chalk that up to out of date sources then.

  19. #19
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    Radec, Jem,

    Updated the Thunder DoT pot and # of tics, thanks for fixing that...see how BLM's out there can easily be misinformed? Just by looking at the wrong website(s) ;p

  20. #20
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    Rotations added...talk amongst yourselves

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