Looking Back at FFXIV: Stormblood’s First Hardcore Raid

We did it, we finally did it! Wait, did what?

I’m talking about Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood’s latest end-game content entitled Omega: Deltascape (Savage). Released last July 18, 2017, it’s the hardest 8-man raid in the game comprised of four instanced fights that usually lasts 12 minutes each, with the next battle being harder than the previous one.

Final Fantasy XIV

Lore

For this raid’s lore, the game developers decided to pay homage to Final Fantasy V and its optional superboss, Omega. Long story short, Omega is an ancient inter-dimensional being that can create sentient life. And its plan is to pit different lifeforms against each other in search of the mightiest being, so it too can evolve. So what’s happening here is he sees potential in the players, and he’s making them battle the life forms he’s created (under the threat of genocide)- two of those being Exdeath and Neo Exdeath from FFV.

Difficulty

Just how hard is hard? This raid will not just test your skills as an individual player (dodging attacks and optimizing DPS with badass skill rotations), but also your capability to work with others as a team. ‘Raid awareness’ is a thing here- you need not only to be in tip-top shape in dealing damage and doing mechanics, you also need to watch out for your friends and utilize your support skills so your team can act together. One player’s mistake here can kill everyone. It’s not eight players versus the boss- it’s one team.

Static and Schedule

In gaming slang, a static is a group of people who play together on a regular basis. So in short, your static is your team. Our all-Filipino group, the Coffeeholics Midnight Raiders (not sure who thought of that or why hehe), is scheduled to raid on 10pm-12am every Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Though we adjust if people won’t be available because of work and other personal stuff. But that’s about it- we try to progress 6 hours a week, 24 hours a month. We cleared the final boss on October 22, so that means it took us 3 months and 4 days with that schedule. It took awhile, but hey! At least we cleared them before they got nerfed.

Party Comp: Paladin, Warrior / Dark Knight, White Mage, Scholar, Samurai, Black Mage, Bard, Ninja / Dragoon

Progression

Here are videos of our first clears:

7/20/17 Deltascape v1.0 (Savage) First Clear

Cleared two days after release. It wasn’t hard- we didn’t need to memorize anything. You just need to know what the attacks he throws at you do as there are a lot of times you can fall off the arena (and die).

7/26/17 Deltascape v2.0 (Savage) First Clear

Cleared six days after v1.0 (Savage). A bit harder but still manageable. There were a lot of running and role-specific mechanics that do huge damage at the time. Still easy, overall.

8/11/27 Deltascape v3.0 (Savage) First Clear

Difficulty is taken up three or four notches here- it’s way beyond harder than v1.0 and v2.0 combined. We cleared sixteen days after v2.0. In this fight, you have to memorize the enemy’s skill rotation as well as anticipate A LOT of random mechanics. There’s quite a number of unforgiving positioning here as well.

9/10/17 Deltascape v4.0 (Savage) First Exdeath Kill

Not really the last boss- Exdeath is like the appetizer and you have to reduce him to 59% before the real boss comes in. Sounds easy right? HELL NO. It took us a whole month to bring down this 5-minute fight. They’ll make you think it’s a mini-boss, but he’s actually already ways harder than v3.0.

10/22/17 Deltascape v4.0 (Savage) First Clear

Good thing that killing Exdeath acts as a save point of sorts- if your party dies after killing him, you won’t have to fight him again and you will restart immediately with Neo Exdeath, the real final boss. But considering the harshness of this fight, it’s more of a mercy than consolation. Forty-two days, fam. FORTY-TWO friggin’ days before we were able to clear this fight. Hallelujah we were able to pull it off before the next patch!

Final Words

Was spending 3 months (about a total of 80-90 hours ) worth it? For me, yes. It was loads of fun! Granted it was frustrating sometimes (especially when you get stuck on a certain boss or mechanic for days), finally being able to overcome those challenges, more so as a team, is quite fulfilling. The vast possibilities Final Fantasy XIV gives us players to be creative with makes it all the more fun. From customizing character roles, classes, skills, equipment, party composition, items, and the many ways of strategizing and handling mechanics with your comrades- what is there not to enjoy? It’s an art- making the best of what you have!

Do you also raid in Final Fantasy XIV? Do share your thoughts below!

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