Probably will end up the more interesting of the two updates too.
So, as I left off in the previous post... We encountered 20 forms. Once more, here is the list:
- Dverger + Skulls (repops in between every single form)
- Armored Chariot + 8x Archaic Gears
- Long-Bowed Chariot + 8x Archaic Gears
- Battleclad Chariot + 8x Archaic Gears
- Long-Armed Chariot + 8x Archaic Gears
- Besieged hammer-wielding Trolls (lamps and PW were the same mob type) x9
- Besieged Mamools mounted on Wivres (lamps and PW were the same mob type) x9
- Besieged Acrolyths (lamps and PW were same mob type) x9
- Besieged Galka General + 8x MNK NPCs
- Besieged Elvaan General + 8x DRK NPCs
- Besieged Mithra General + 8x WHM NPCs
- Besieged Hume General + 8x BLM NPCs
- Besieged Hume General + 8x RNG NPCs
- Troll Beastmen King + 8x Trolls (DRKs, RNGs, MNKs, PLDs, WARs)
- Lamia Beastmen King (Medusa) + 8x Lamia (RNGs, BLMs, ???, ???, ???)
- Mamool Beastmen King + 8x Mamool (NINs, THFs, RDMs, WHMs, BLMs)
- Vampyr HNM + 8x Imps
- Hydra HNM + 8x Red Dragons
- Khimera HNM + 8x Puks
- Cerberus HNM + 8x Growing Bombs, non-casting
- Dverger HNM + 8x Dverger
So here are some of the specifics I can remember on each form.
Chariots and Archaic Gears
All four of the first PW forms are all chariots with archaic gears, and for the most part it is the most annoying part of the PW fight until you get to the HNMs. We still managed to kill each of these four forms in an average of 35 minutes.
All of the chariots are about the same as the ones in Salvage, with twice the HP and higher damage output. Their normal AoE attacks for ~300 now do closer to 400-600 or more. They tend to hit harder as well, and also have access to their signature move at all times of the fight (like in Salvage), but don't use it too often.
LBC's Homing missile is also now AoE on the hate reset, if I remember correctly. It didn't use it until ~35% though. And I think it was just high damage, and not the throat stab type attack. I'm a little unsure though, as we only had one land in the fight.
LAC's brainjack is just as always, but didn't use until at 30% for us. After using it, it charmed a few different people in a row before going back to normal, just as in Salvage.
BC now has 10,000 needles instead of 4,400. Need to have people setup so that they help absorb the damage, but don't get hit by AoE, which isn't too hard to do. Easy to stun though.
AC basically followed the same suit as the others, and isn't any different from what you'd expect beyond that. I don't recall if all forms were stunnable, but at least a few of them were.
This was where these forms were a real pain. These gears spam their incredibly annoying and now high-damaged AoE gravity attack more than any other TP attack, and also have rail cannon as AoE. The biggest problem with that is they often hit tanks, causing them to get in trouble. In addition, it doesn't help when it hits/kills the DDs either.
The AoE spam from these gears was the most difficult part of the first several hours of PW.
These were of the easiest mobs through the entire fight. We averaged about 30 minutes a kill on these forms, and had almost no trouble whatsoever.
These are the hammer-wielding 'destroyer' trolls from besieged. Just like in besieged, they have a few hard hitting hammer AoE and single target attacks, but for the most part outside of that they weren't too difficult. They follow the same moves as with besieged.
The main PW troll does much higher than normal damage on all attacks. But still rather easy to handle.
These guys had the mamool WHM/RNG or PLD/RNG on top, and so were able cast WHM spells as well as ranged attack from time to time. On top of what the Wivre would normally do.
Biggest problem with these is a TP attack called Blazing or Inferno Angon, it's a frontal AoE that does a good 500-1500 damage to all in front of it. It seems bigger than most frontal AoEs though, but definitely is not an all around AoE. They don't use this attack often but it's enough to warrant some care.
The boss Mamool also does a lot more damage with those attacks. His version of the Angon move does really heavy damage.
These were easy, but still spammed an annoying AoE move. Something involving it punching the ground, and doing about 200-500 damage to anyone near it. Other than that though, they were probably the easiest fight up till then.
The boss did significantly more on all attacks, as with the others.
These forms were all rather difficult to deal with in some ways, as the PW + Lamps were stronger than any others before, but there was so much less AoE involved that made it easier in some ways. In the end we still averaged about 35m on each kill here.
This NM required a whole new strategy, and was the first real difficulty we ran into. The problem was that PW + all of the lamps appeared to run at 12-25% movement speed. Tanks had trouble keeping range on them, and they were hitting way too hard way too fast. We came extremely close to a first wipe but just barely managed to live through it all.
In the end, the best strategy for this was the use of super-tanking and not kiting (kiting was just pointless, they ran too fast). I was the super tank for this as SAM/WAR, and with defender, a taco, phalanx II, and my defense gear the PW + PW lamps were hitting for 0-30 damage, which was enough to hold them. On normal people PW hit as hard as 140-200 a hit, and his lamps hit as hard as about 100-150, so it was surprising to get their damage dealt so low. One thing we never recovered though was lamp hate, as just about everyone was directly on PW's hate list, and so lamps were all over the place. We had our tanks focus on holding them because of this.
Tanking PW + super-tanking lamps.
They all use all of the MNK TP attacks as well, from Backhand Blow and Spinning Attack to Asuran Fists and Dragon Kick. The WS hit pretty hard, but shouldn't really one-shot anyone. As long as you can keep them all under control, it's a lot easier.
The general himself uses Hundred Fists early on in the fight, so keep that in mind. The general also has some TP attacks outside of the normal H2H ones iirc, but they weren't much trouble.
This was a relief of an easy fight when it came up. Unfortunately my computer was crashing with some seriously messed up graphic errors for part of this fight, so I have no pictures and not as many details. NVidia + FF almost always = trouble. :(
However, this part is just about all what you'd expect. They all run at regular movement speed, so we went back to kiting as normal. They wield a GS and use TP attacks oriented with that weapon, and cast all of the dark magic spells. The casting helps make it easier to kite.
The general also uses Blood Weapon, and has access to a few more fun TP attacks.
These were the easiest of all the generals, they ran around with clubs casting cheesy WHM spells and using lolclub weapon skills. They all seemed to have lower than normal HP as well, although maybe that was just how soft they were compared to other jobs.
The WHM general however, and some of the lamps iirc, have a very powerful AoE bubble TP attack. The lamps don't hit very hard with it, but the general wiped out quite a few people with a 500-1500 damage scorching bubbles TP attack. So be careful about that, otherwise it was really easy.
Male Hume BLM
These all have fast cast, and wield Scythes. Most of the scythe TP attacks hurt quite a bit, but even worse is they spam TP attacks more than other lamps, to the point of making their own skillchains on whoever is their current target. They also cast all the normal BLM spells, at speeds faster than normal casting (maybe 25-50% reduction?)
This is also the first time in the fight you should have to use poison pots, to avoid the massive amounts of sleepga spam when the initial 8 lamps are up.
All in all the biggest problem with these lamps is their offensive output, otherwise they're rather quick to kill. I would also recommend enfeebling all of these if possible (not that you shouldn't on other lamps anyway) with stuff like paralyze and slow, and especially Dia if you have a lot of melee damage.
The main general used Manafont, but it was rather cheesy. It just spammed casting -ga spells, and we stunned all but one of them. All together with the lamps he's a real pain in the ass, but once he's alone it's a push-over.
Female Hume RNG
At first I thought this form would be hell, but it ended up being super easy. I and quite a few other people died right off the bat to a shitload of ranged attacks with berserk up and enmity gear on, but on normal tanks they were hitting for 30-80 damage or so. It was easy to out-run and keep distance from them as well.
They used all the RNG and some of the Dagger WS, including Sidewinder. The only dagger WS I remember seeing though is Cyclone, which does a good 300-600 damage to anyone nearby.
The final general is pretty powerful offensive wise, with ranged attacks that do 600+ to weaker DDs, but is still quite easy to kill. Beware one thing though, this thing has fucking Eagle Eye Shotga. It hits everyone in immediate range of the NM for pretty damn high damage.
In general the lamps for these forms were of the easier lamps. Most of them had very little to no AoE, and were just like fighting an IT mob of their type (with 25k HP). They all had a little more to bring to the table, with access to more TP attacks, but they weren't all too special. The kings on the other hand though, were a lot tougher than the real versions of them. :(
Due to the significant difficulty of the kings, this now took us an average of 40m per form.
Troll King: Gurfurlur
The troll lamps were cake, nothing special about them from what normal trolls do that I can remember. A combination of what appeared to be PLDs, RNGs with the cannons, DRKs, and WARs were popped. Only real importance is to make sure to get rid of that RNG type fast, because it's ranged attack AoE is really annoying.
The king himself made up for the short time spent on lamps by being a hell of a long fight. He has all the TP attacks he can normally use, and does about the same damage with them as the king. But also appears to take less damage, and obviously has much higher HP. Overall in the end it wasn't too difficult to kill, but just lengthy.
Lamia King: Medusa
As with the other, Lamia lamps weren't much trouble, athough a little more menacing than the previous form. Each lamp can do the stripga and charmga moves, although we only saw them a small handful of times. So for the most part it isn't common. A combination of RNGs, BLMs, and other jobs I don't recall were popped. I think it might have been WHM, THF, or something? It doesn't really matter.
Still, lamps were killed quickly. Medusa was a little faster to kill than the troll, and was more annoying than dangerous. It does have AoE petrify, along with a few other annoying TP moves, but for the most part is was rather easy. Probably the easiest of the three kings.
Mamool King: Gulool Ja Ja
Lamps were easy once again, but a little more dangerous than the other three. All of the mamool have access to groundburst, which does a good 400-1000 or more damage to anyone in range. We didn't see the attack often, but each time it happened it really hurt.
Aside from that and the always-annoying Firespit attack (which hit about as hard as normal IT mobs), they weren't much trouble and quick to kill. A combination of NIN, WHM, BLM, and RDM or THF (maybe both, dagger/shield) were popped.
The king was rather difficult to take down, as his offensive strength was the biggest of the three while at the same time having significant defense. We even had to kite it at one point due to it just devastating whoever it had target on with TP attacks and melee hits, and we also didn't want to imagine how hard Mijin Gakure would land. It was very easy to kite, thankfully. Just make sure not to run out of the room, or as I mentioned before you'll cause the entire ally to be dragged to the middle and possibly MPK'd.
But at 3% it used Mijin Gakure, and was rather weak. It didn't reappear after it used it either. Be prepared for the fact that once it explodes you're going to run into the next form of PW though, so if you're in bad shape you might want to hold off on pushing it.
HNMs: Vampyr, Hydra, Khimera, Cerberus
This was by far the longest and most difficult part of the fight. By the time we reached this point we had killed 15 forms and were about 9 hours in, and the remaining 9 hours was spent on these last 5 fights.
So we went from an average of 30-40 minutes max per PW form, to 1:30 to 2 hours.
After seeing these HNMs repop, people were just screaming in LS in disbelief and laughter. Before reaching this point we all joked about how the three HNM ToA kings would be next, if they could fit them in this room. But well, they did fit in the room. :(
Before seeing this guy pop, we had theories about it being the 3 beastmen kings > Vampyr > Dverger, as opposed to 3 beastmen kings > Dverger. Seeing it pop was both a good thing and a bad thing for us, because we figured that now we were almost definitely at the end. Sadly that wasn't true, but that motivation is what kept us going further after coming this far.
Unfortunately though, this NM is just about impossible to do without wiping multiple times. It took about an hour and thirty minutes to beat, and 90% of that is because of the lamps.
The lamps are Heraldic Imps that spam high-damage magic with fast cast, and run at very fast speeds. In addition, the horn/song attacks that do amnesia and silence also do 300-600 damage to anyone they hit. What a load of bullshit, right?
So with all that in mind, and an HNM Vampyr that hits like a tank, you're just not going to survive very long. This was the first NM we wiped completey to. Dealing damage to imps is too slow due to the amnesia, silence, and hard-hitting AoE + spell damage. They eat up tanks before you can down even a few of them.
The only way to really do this is kill as many lamps as possible in a zerg before tanks and subsequently everyone else wipes, recover from scratch, and repeat. It took us 2 repeats of this to get down to the final form, which was much easier.
The HNM version of the Vampyr was a long fight, but not too hard. It hit rather hard and had annoying TP attacks, but he didn't cause much trouble. The worst part that made this fight so long is that he spammed AoE drain + single target drain TP attacks, countering your damage output if it wasn't high enough. BLMs also do crappy damage here, which doesn't help.
OK, seeing Soloo booking it from super huge Hydra mob + 12 dragons in ths picture is hilarious.
We thought that the Dverger would be here, and this is where we broke out laughing and in disbelief. This was the first time we considered given up for good, but after dealing with and successfully killing the Vampyr (hardest PW + lamp combination yet), we felt confident we could take anything. And with all that struggle, we didn't want to just give it all up.
Hydra's lamp difficulty was much easier, despite their annoying TP attacks. They are the red dragon types, so they have access to all the TP attacks of your friendly neighborhood Ash Dragon. Most of which are easy to stun though, and the model of Hydra + his dragons is so big they're easy to out-run. We killed all of the lamps within 20 minutes.
Hydra on the other hand, took an hour and forty minutes by himself. Everything we tried to knock off just one of his heads failed, and with all three heads he has an incredibly high regen for the entire fight. He also has access to Nerve Gas for the whole fight (the real version only does in the last part of his life). That combined with his annoying AoE spam, makes it difficult to deal consistent melee damage to him. And we know that BLM damage blows to all hell on Hydra.
Because of this it was one hell of a long fight. It goes without saying it was a lot harder than the real version, and definitely had much much higher HP. At some points we had to kite him due to how difficult the fight was getting with Nerve gas + AoE spam, but it was easy to kite.
SMN damage is the best damage on him, they were doing a good 500-1k damage. We had a few people change jobs because of this, which helped speed up the fight a lot.
This was a repeat of the Vampyr strategy. It is impossible to kill this without wiping multiple times. The puks he spawns with move at very fast speeds, and so does Khim himself. It is not possible for tanks to keep distance on him and his pets consistently, and they get eaten alive rather fast.
Because of this, once again we had to zerg as many Puks as we could and then wipe, and restart. It took us 3 repeats of this, which was one more repeat than it took with the Vampyr. The Puks also have the extra puk TP attacks, including Ill wind (dispel + high damage) and I believe the HP recovery one. They also hit hard, fast, and are just as annoying as ever.
Once the puks are dead, you have Khim himself. He runs at faster than normal speed so it is very hard to kite, but you can still kite it. He is constantly in 'wings up mode', and well you know what that means. He also has access to Fullimation from the start, and will use it rather often. He can be stunned, but is much more resistant than normal, so you can't rely on it.
It took us 2 hours in total to do this guy, and while Khim was still considerably easier than Hydra it still took a while with Fullimation wiping out anyone near it.
Also around this time we found out that a group of GMs were watching us fight. One of them miss-spoke in say, and later we found out from a GM in a GM call that many of them were watching.
They wouldn't help us with the fight though. :(
Before even touching Hydra we theorized this would be the last NM, as the 'Gates of Hades' lead to Pandemonium. We had high expectations for this being the last form, although we wouldn't have been too surprised to see Alexander + 8 mini-Odins or something similar.
Cerb was also the easiest of the three HNMs, taking just about 60-70 minutes. He pops with 8 big bomb type lamps, which while dangerous are much easier.
Over time the lamps take damage whether they have hate or not (I would say it's about 1% HP every 10 seconds), but they also grow as they get lower in HP (or if you deal high damage, whichever comes first). The bigger they grow, the more TP attacks they have access to, the more dangerous their TP attacks, and the harder they hit. This was a good thing and a bad thing, because lamps were killing themselves over time. But it was bad, because tanks would get annihilated by the lamps if they ever caught up or got hit with AoE.
Because of this we did have one full-wipe, but while we were recovering the lamps were still losing HP. When we went back at it, most were at 5% and starting to explode. Explosions didn't do much damage but still hurt, and all in all it reduced the fight length to a much shorter time frame.
After the lamps were dead, we just had Cerberus. Who, nice enough, was the easiest of the HNMs. He did have GoH from the start of the fight, but he was easily stunnable. He also had a lot more HP, but compared to the previous HNM fights this was cake.
Final Form: Dverger
Cerberus was finally defeated, and when we saw the Dverger pop with his Dverger buddies in place of the skulls, we were all ecstatic and couldn't wait to put this piece of shit NM to rest forever. At this point we were convinced that we could win, and that we'd never do anything like this again. Motivation and adrenaline was high.
But of course, this was just about the toughest PW form there. The lamps had near-instant cast and hard-hitting spells, as well as really hard-hitting TP attacks. They moved slow, but they were still just way too strong. We managed to kill 2-3 lamps, and then wiped.
So after recovering we had to do the zerg as much as we could strat once more, and I think we either finished it in one or two more tries. The lamps were very difficult, as I said, so it was hard to keep both DDs and tanks alive for very long. It took us nearly an hour to clear all of the lamps.
After finally defeating all of the lamps, we rested up before PW. He was easily the strongest NM offensive-wise of all the preceding ones, and for the first time all night I didn't want any form of hate. He was one-shotting people all over the place with hits for high damage, and nuking/TP attacking for really high damage. It took us a good 30 minutes to bring him to 75%, where we were met with him resummoning all of the lamps and using Astral Flow.
In the above picture, all of the lamps were summoned first and casted magic on me, killing me instantly. This was followed in unison with Astral Flow from what appeared to be every avatar (those aren't just our SMN avatars). This of course, wiped everyone in the area almost instantly.
This was where we realized we couldn't do it, and subsequently the adrenaline, excitement, and motivation wore off almost instantly. This is where people started to really feel the effects of the last 18 hours, and some became ill with the idea of what just happened, and all the time/effort that was put into this for nothing.
After this wipe we still got up and recovered again for one more try, and began killing the lamps in a zerg once more. We barely managed to kill one lamp before the wipe this time, and then we decided that we really couldn't do this any further. We let it depop, and went to go pass out (if not passed out already).
It's safe to assume that had we continued further, we would've seen it repop all its lamps every 25%... As every NM that does something unique at 75% loves to repeat it at 50% and 25%. There was no way we could handle going through all that, and at our drained pace it would've taken another good 5 hours.
Also: I would like to thank the other shells and supermanrich in particular for sharing their experiences and encounters with PW before our attempt (only two other shells popped before us, making info on the NM hard to find). It made things a lot easier for us in the long run, and without it I doubt we would've made it as far as we did. Thanks!
And I'd also like to thank lhexh and sylphet for their assistance in making these two updates! My bitches. <3