Having gone into Lakshmi Extreme with most of the Jiffy static blind (and still clearing within a lockout), I’m not surprised that what we decided to do and what Party Finder expects is different, but at least one thing that Party Finder does really bothers me as decidedly inferior to what we decided to do on the fly.
At a few points in the fight, Lakshmi casts “Divine Doubt” which causes confusion for all party members. Using a Vril will shorten the duration of the confusion but will not prevent it. While confused, your character will run towards the nearest other Player Character and autoattack them until the end of the confusion.
Party Finder’s way of dealing with this mechanic is to pair up: Tanks north, Healers south, pairs of DPS east and west.
This pairing method is the part I hate.
What Jiffy did when we cleared was spread. Be as far away from others as possible, tanks apart, melee apart, healers apart. SPREAD.
This accomplishes a few things:
- By being far away from your party members, you eat up some of the confusion time running to the nearest player –
significantly reducing the amount of damage you do to them. It was not uncommon for me to get only one or two autoattacks off before confusion ended. Even if someone got doubleteamed, it was still not much of a problem because they took on average fewer hits from two other players than they take from one in the paired method. Since the PF method has people stack basically next to each other, you begin damaging your partner immediately – overall higher damage.
Spreading allowed greater melee uptime on the boss. Melee can have their spread spots be close to the boss for little downtime. If the nearest player to them is also near the boss, they can get back on the boss faster than with the spread method. Higher melee DPS uptime should always be a optimal raid’s goal.
Having the tanks not paired allows them to, you know, tank. Cooldowns are effective against confusion damage, so if you spread in such a way that tanks are double teamed, with a cooldown they will be just fine. The PF method of pairing high strength, low HP characters together has never made sense to me. It’s not uncommon to see one or more of the DPS as low as like 15-20% of their health at the end of the confusion section in the paired method. Under the right set of circumstances or with enough crit & direct hit, I believe it might be possible for DPS not to survive in the paired method, especially if there is a disparity in their gear.
Chain running reduces damage further. In the PF method, Player 1 and Player 2 are next to each other, so they are reciprocally their closest enemy, run directly towards each other and begin attacking. If you are spread, Player 1’s nearest player might be Player 2, but Player 2’s nearest player is actually Player 3. So when confusion sets in, Player 2 runs toward Player 3, and Player 1 has to chase Player 2 further before he can start the attack. Once the running is done, Player 2 might now be under attack by both Players 1 and 3, but the confusion phase is likely nearly after a GCD or two.
In the case of emergency, your healers are not stacked – so if one or more players do end up more severely injured than expected, it is more likely that help is nearby, maybe even from a fairy if one of your healers is a Scholar.
To me, there are only benefits to the spread method over the pair stack method. The only problem with this method which probably means it will never be widely adopted is it requires critical thinking and the ability to observe, adjust, and react to ensure a decent spread… which means this will probably only be a strat for statics, not for an average party finder group.