Monday, January 07, 2008

"Dancing With Myself"

My "holiday project" for this year was to try out Dancer as a subjob for Paladin. Early in December, I did the Lakeside Minuet quest to unlock the job. It was a fairly simple quest, with some time travel required, and it wasn't long before I found myself with another job available on my job change screen. I got my Vagabond Gear from Quincy, bought a bronze knife +1, and header out to West Sarutabaruta, as a DNC1/BST1.

My plan was to pretty much solo as DNC/BST, since it seemed like a viable combination - DNC has decent charisma and can heal itself after a certain point, and being on the weak side, having a sturdy pet to help take down the prey would be useful. Plus I hadn't tried subbing BST since they'd made the changes that allow a pet to regen while it's not engaged, and they also got rid of the pet penalty, so I was curious to see how it would work.

It was really quite a fabulous combination. I stayed in the Sarutabarutas until I was around 9, then headed into Tahrongi Canyon. At level 12, I got the bright idea of trying the Tiny Lycopodiums just outside the gate in West Sarutabaruta [S]. I charmed a DC, started fighting an EM, and got murderized after it quickly pummled my pet to death. So back I went to Tahrongi, until I hit level 14.

Dancer at the early levels is really not much different from Thief, with the exception of Drain Samba at level 5, which gives you some HP back each time you hit the monster you're fighting. Dancer has a fairly limited selection of weapons available: some knives, hand-to-hand, and rapier-type swords are pretty much it. I opted to use knives until the first sword was available at level 13, then stuck with swords until I could use my Federation Knife at level 25.

At 14, I headed back to the past, and this time, it was really a great spot. I was there until 17, fighting mandies, bunnies, and the occasional crawler, with mandies and bunnies for pets. Once I got to 15 and had Curing Waltz available, things really started to pick up. I would fight EP or DC mobs to build TP and let my pet "rest", then take on high Toughs, cure-tanking them while my pet did the damage. It was really a rush getting chain #4 for over 200 points while soloing.

Around level 17 I was struggling a bit - my pets were too weak and my prey was too strong, so I looked around for a new camp, and had a great time in North Gustaberg [S]. I had to grab a DC bird from the upper level and take it down to the lower level, then keep it alive while I got nice chains on the worms. I tried fighting a lizard, but decided that was a bad idea after a couple close calls with petrification.

At level 19, I headed back to West Sarutabaruta [S], and had a great time until level 24, using crawlers and birds to fight crawlers and birds. It was really a wonderful spot, since I had it all to myself, and there's nothing around to aggro me. And the birds don't link either. I did get a bit tired of the Campaign music playing so much, but that was pretty much the only drawback.

My next camp was in Buburimu Penninsula, where I leveled from 24-26, mostly fighting pugils with pugils, while using the crabs to build TP when I needed it. I got aggro from the anti-fishbot goblins while I was still 24, but they weren't much of a bother.

After I hit 26, I decided it was time for a new camp and was heading back to town when I got a tell from someone I'd partied with on my WHM in the Dunes last year, asking if I wanted to join a party in the Jungles. I thought it'd be fun to see how Dancer worked in a party, so I changed to /NIN, asked Erock to send me a second Federation Knife, and I headed to Yuhtunga. The party was really pretty fun. We had 3 DNC/NINs, 2 NIN/WARs, and a WAR/NIN, and it was so odd to see a functioning party with no MP. I believe we would have done extraordinarily well if there had been enough mandies to keep us going, and no goblins coming along to spoil our fun. After I hit 27, the exp really fell off, and since the group still had mostly 24-25s, I left the party. I switched back to DNC/BST and fought beetles in Sauromogue to get to 28.

I had the bright idea of trying beetles and funguars in Carpenters Landing, but getting paralyzed is really a terrible thing for a dancer trying to cure-tank. I decided to try Lower Delkfutt's Tower, and it wasn't horrible, but it was pretty slow, and I had limited pets to play with. My next day out, I headed to the West Altepa entrance of Korroloka Tunnel, starting out at level 28. At level 28, I took out my NPC Fellow, Balu-Falu (set on soothing healer), just to help me out until I hit level 29 and had more pets to choose from. There was a too-weak goblin patrolling the fishing puddles, which was handy for starting out my TP, and I fought a few leeches before deciding TP Drainkiss pretty much sucks for a Dancer. I stuck to the crab when I could. This was a really nice spot until 31, though admittedly a bit slow with my weak little knife hits on the crabs.

In my search for a camp at 31, I discovered an amazing spot that I was unfortunately a bit too high for. There's a couple flocks of Lycopodiums near Jeuno in Sauromogue Champaign [S], where there's nothing to aggro you. The Lycopodiums are all level 28-30, don't link, and don't use dream flower. There's even a pixie patrolling the area that might be handy at times. Best of all, the Lycopodiums will often stand around watching you fight, so you don't even have to run off to pull them - they're waiting right there for you to fight. Lycopodiums are a bit charm-resistant, at least for my DNC/BST, which provided for some exiciting moments. I think this might be a perfect camp for parties in the Qufim levels, if people are willing to stray from the norm.

After playing with the Lycopodiums for awhile, I headed to Ranguemont Pass, with the idea that I'd work my way to the back tunnel to Beaucedine Glacier, where the stirges should be appropriate pets/prey. Going into a zone like Ranguemont is great, since there were plenty of too-weaks/easy preys to build up 300% TP before starting my "real" fights. And having "Spectral Jig" on Dancer starting at level 25 is great for getting past mobs that will aggro. The Pass was a nice spot, and I liked fighting the weak-to-slashing bats after the levels of hardshelled crabs.

At 33, I headed to Lufaise Meadows, fighting bees and sheep, getting to 34 before I needed to get ready for Dynamis that evening. I figured I'd end up fighting in Lufaise, both near the safehold and up by the lake, until I hit 37, but I ended up trioing beetles in East Altepa with Thala and Venn as MNK/NINs after Salvage one Friday. Meshe joined us later as WAR/NIN. It was a fun little group, but a bit slow because there were other parties and solo people making beetles harder to find than I would have liked. It was pretty fun, and kept me pretty busy as I was pulling, enfeebling, healing, and even tanking at times. When I hit 35, I got another level of Drain Samba, as well as Healing Waltz, which is somewhat like a super-Erase in tha it will remove most bad status effects, one at a time.

I've left Dancer at 35 for now, since I won't get any new abilities with it at 36 or 37, so it's pretty much everything I'll get as a subjob for PLD, except for some minor stat increases. Once they release AF for it, I may consider leveling it further, since it really is a fun job. I've tried it out a bit as a sub for PLD, and haven't really found the perfect situation for it. I think it would be amazing for Campaign, especially Aspir Samba, since I'm having problems keeping my MP up. However, I really really don't want to give up /WHM and its reraise. I end up as the only PC in a lot of my campaign battles, and those NPCs just won't raise me, and at 2k a charge, I don't really want to blow through reraise earrings either. Someone told me they're adding a Reraise Samba to Dancer in an update, but even if they do, I fear it will be higher than level 37.

New title: Troupe Brilioth Dancer



Anonymous Midnightjade said...

Hi Kiki,

Great post! I have BST at 75, and often sub it to other jobs. I often use BRD/BST 75 for Campaign or general soloing, and have also used NIN/BST and WHM/BST at times when leveling those jobs to 37.

At the moment I'm leveling COR, and am interested in trying COR/BST at some levels. Your post is basically an up-to-date guide for BST soloing, and I'm sure I'll be referring to it in the weeks to come.

Many thanks. ^^

January 08, 2008 1:11 pm  
Blogger tsakiki said...

I really had a lot of fun finding the camps in the new areas, and was disappointed when I couldn't find them for some of the levels. There's something nice about being pretty much alone in a zone and not having to worry about other people wanting your pets or prey!

January 08, 2008 8:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For a post about Pld/Dnc you sure didn't write anything about that. Your thesis would have been much more accurate in saying that your holiday project was to solo Dancer to 37. While helpful in choosing solo camps for upcoming dancers, your post leaves a lot to be desired for ppl like me wanting to know how Pld/Dnc works.

October 20, 2009 8:59 am  
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