Getting Started: A Series of Guides for The Newbie (Volume 3)

The levels between 5 and 10 I consider a great opportunity for obtaining a greater understanding of the group dynamics absolutely necessary for levels 10 and beyond. Translated into English, a good party member needs a strong idea of how 1) macros, 2) Skillchains (Renkei)/Magic Bursts, and 3) Party Dynamics work. The three are conveniently tied together. How do you practice? First, before even seeking adventure, set up some basic macros. Select “Macros” from the “-” menu or hold down the Ctl or Alt button to access your macro menus. Since these guides try to cover concepts and now how-tos, I expect you to understand the basic method of setting up macros.

Depending on your class, I recommend several macros (only the base classes are covered here):

Recommended Macros –
WAR: Provoke target w/ an announcement. HP and TP reports. Weaponskills.
MNK: 2-hour ability and other “buff” abilities. Weaponskills.
WHM: Benediction. Heals for each member of your party (based on list position). MP report. An “I’m being attacked!” warning.
BLM: Manafont. Standard elemental spells. MP report. An attacked warning, as above.
RDM: HP/TP/MP reports, Weaponskills, 2-hour abilities, spells. In essence, the basics of all the above.
THF: Steal/backstab/etc. macros. Weaponskills and HP reports.

In general, every class should have:
Location reporter. A map macro (extremely useful). A “I’m being attacked at this position!” command. Possibly rests, roleplaying “taunt text”, etc.

Try to add some flavor to your macros, but make them easily understandable. For example, a PROVOKE macro should not look something like:

/p Lookie here, stoopid!
/ja “Provoke” <t>

But like…

/p Lookie here, stoopid! Provoking <t> NOW!
/ja “Provoke” <t>
/p Recharging complete in 30 seconds.

There is a good FAQ for Macros on the website, I might add one of my own soon.

To understand skillchains, one must have two assets: a decent sense of timing (or well-written macro), and a list of Skillchain/Renkei usages.

Many people don’t understand Skillchains, or even attempt them, until higher levels. However, I say, why wait to start? One day, a grizzled player will be ecstatic not to have to explain Skillchains to yet another clueless noob.

In layman’s terms, Skillchains are impossible without Weaponskills. In a skillchain, two or more players (Samurai excepted) time their Weaponskills just right so that two Weaponskills of acceptable elemental types hit the same, designated target in roughly three seconds of each other.

For example, a Polearm wielding Galka and a sword wielding Hume decide to chain on an unsuspecting Rabbit. The players have seen that the Polearm skill “Double Thrust” and the Sword skill “Fast Blade” are compatible when used in Polearm-Sword order. Once both players have greater than 100% TP, the Galka readies and uses Double Thrust. As soon as the Hume sees the Galka ready the Weaponskill, he waits three seconds and then initiates his own Fast Blade. A skillchain (Scission, in this case – explained later) is created and more damage is dealt, critically wounding the Rabbit! Hoorah!

Understanding of Skillchains will come with time and practice. The concept of the Magic Burst is quite similar. If a Black or White mage hits the same enemy with the element corresponding to a Weaponskill being used AT THE SAME TIME, more damage will be dealt through Magic Burst. In other words, if the Hume in the above example uses “Fast Blade” and a Black Mage casts “Stone” on the enemy at the exact time the Fast Blade lands, increased damage is awarded.

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