Version 2 adds some minor cleanups and some info on how to reach Hexa Strike. Future versions will be on ffxiclopedia.
The current draft version is: http://wiki.ffxiclopedia.org/wiki/Us...Skill-up_Guide
How to skill up a White Mage in Campaign Battles and Besieged
by Elwynn @ Fairy
Version 1 - 2009-01-04
The campaign battles from the Wings of the Goddess expansion are a wonderful thing for white mages because you can get experience points for healing, and there is always a battle going on. The problem is that when you have Allied Tags on so that you can get experience points, you get no skill-ups. And while you do get skill-ups in Besieged, you can usually make it to no more than one or two a day.
White mages are particularly needy of skill-ups, because they rarely get to cast Divine or Enfeebling magic in experience party situations, in contrast to combat jobs, who do get to use their main skills in XP parties.
It is possible to get healing skill-ups by casting Cure spells on yourself in a macro, but skill-ups are infrequent, and are usually 0.1, with the rare 0.3. Enhancing magic is just as bad.
Have you ever noticed how at the end of a campaign battle when you're healing an NPC, if the battle ends just as you cast, sometimes you can get a healing skill-up? And sometimes it's an 0.5 skill-up? Don't you wish you could do that more often? Guess what? You can.
This purpose of this guide is to show you how to get your skills up to their proper level by using campaign battles. It is specifically intended for WHM, though its principles can apply to other mage jobs as well. It also applies to Beseiged battles, though there are no tags to keep you from getting skill-ups. And while these techniques are specifically intended for solo skill-ups, they should work fine in skill-up groups as well.
How skill-ups work
Magic skill-ups depend on the level of your target. When comparing levels, you are comparing your skill point cap at your target's level with your current skill points. If the level of your target is too low, you simply don't get a skill-up. If the level of your target is much higher than you, you will see lots of 0.5 skill-ups. And if the level of your target is exactly the same as you (such as casting spells on yourself), then you can reach your cap, but the last few points will come very slowly.
Note that the level of the spell being cast does not matter. You will get the same chance at the same amount of skill-ups whether you cast Cure I or Cure V. The only difference is how many magic points get used.
Weapon skill-ups also depend on the level of your target, but with the exception of ranged attacks (which basically don't matter for a mage job), you have to get right up to the target and /attack it.
Shield and Evasion skills only raise when you get attacked directly, and you only get Shield skill-ups when you have a shield equipped. Since a WHM usually doesn't need them except when soloing, and since soloing is the main source of these skill-ups, they won't be covered by this guide. As for Evasion skill-ups, when not in direct combat, a white mage usually only sees them right before getting KOed.
What is my skill cap?
Your cap in any skill is determined by your job's skill rating for that skill. According to ffxiclopedia.org, the magic skill ratings for WHM, BLM, and RDM are:
WHM: Healing A+, Divine A-, Enhancing C+, Enfeebling C
BLM: Enhancing E, Enfeebling C+, Elemental A+, Dark A-
RDM: Healing C-, Divine E, Enhancing B+, Enfeebling A+, Elemental C+, Dark E
Look up the skill cap at your level for each skill on:
Know what the skill caps are at your current level so that you know when you've reached the cap and don't waste your time or mana on a capped skill.
The Secret to Campaign Skillups
Since campaign and Besieged are full of high-level mobs on both sides, this means a lot of potential 0.5 skillups, especially when you are below level 60 or so. You don't get skill-ups in campaign battles with Allied Tags on. But you do get them with the tags off. So don't get tags.
"But then I'll get KO and lose experience!" Not if you don't get KO in the first place! The key to this is hate management. Besides, you shouldn't be afraid to take the XP hit, because skill points are more important, and you can always get your XP back later. And with Raise or Reraise, you won't lose too much XP anyhow. But if it matters that much to you, stick to Besieged battles.
All you have to do is avoid getting hate from more than one mob at a time, and one that won't live long enough to ever get to you.
If you know how to avoid getting hate, you can avoid getting hit. If you avoid getting hit, you avoid getting KO. These principles also apply with tags on in campaign battles. While this isn't as important in Besieged, due to the large number of players and lack of XP penalty for KO, it's still good to know.
* Have Reraise up just in case. It can happen. If you do get whacked without Reraise up, wait for someone to Raise you. (They won't get XP from it in a campaign battle because you don't have tags on, but they likely won't know that. But you'll be giving back by casting Raise when others need it.)
* If you don't have tags on, you won't get aggro from campaign mobs (the ones with a sword icon). Watch out for some areas that have aggro mobs on the way to the battle, such as the ladybugs in East Ronfaure [S].
* This does not mean you won't accumulate hate from campaign mobs. Each one has a "hate list". It's quite annoying to get on an NM campaign mob's hate list, then five minutes later when he has nobody else to attack, he runs out to where you're healing, gives you a special delivery gank, then runs back to the battle. This is especially important when the campaign NM mob starts wiping players en-masse!
* If you heal or buff a player or NPC who is engaged in battle with a campaign mob, that will put you on the hate list of the campaign mob. If the mob isn't likely to die soon, you could be on the list for quite a while. If someone is being chased and about to go down, just let them KO and cast Raise. (That is also a good idea even when you do have tags.)
* When a campaign mob dies, its hate for you goes away. (Like, duh.)
* When you die, you lose most of the hate from a mob, but not necessarily all of it. You could still be on the hate list.
* Casting Raise does not create hate. But it uses up your MP and takes away potential XP from other healers who have tags on, so don't be in a rush to cast Raise unless there's a bunch of players eating dirt, or if they're in a position where someone with tags would likely get aggro while trying to raise them.
* Engaged campaign mobs won't link or aggro, though being on a hate list might make you vunlerable to AoE attacks. Play it safe and stand back from the main battle area just in case.
* The higher level your spell, the more hate you can expect from casting it on a mob. But you don't need those high-hate spells anyhow, since you want your MP to last as long as possible.
* Zoning will remove all hate, but might be a bit troublesome in a campaign battle area, which usually aren't convienently located near zone lines.
It's a really wonderful and empowering feeling to walk through a campaign battle gaining skill points with nothing attacking you.
[b]Campaign vs. Besieged[b]
So why should you choose the risk of losing XP in a campaign battle over Besieged? If your skills are way behind (like 20 points or more), campaign battles let you keep gaining skills for hours at a time. And there is always a campaign battle running, so you won't have to wait hours for a Besieged to start, or be awake when one starts at 04:00. If you just leveled up and only need 5 or so points per skill, you can afford to wait for a Besieged to start.
Campaign battles (depending on the zone) can be much less chaotic than Besieged. It is much easier to keep an NPC targeted because there are less people in the zone, and mobs are usually pulled one at a time and kept busy in a scrum. This lets you cast spells from farther back without worrying about your target wandering off.
Besieged is better for lower-level mage jobs because it is much easier to get a Raise when you get KO, and there is no danger of losing XP. It also drops temporary items into your inventory that let you get lots of MP. Wizard's Drink + Megalixir lets you go twice as long before having to rest.
A source of Refresh will help reduce your downtime. Get one if you can.
* Sigil with latent Refresh costs 50 Allied Notes. This gives you 1MP/tick when you have less than half MP. 1MP/tick will last you a long time when casting 8MP Cure spells.
* For Besieged, Sanction with Refresh costs 100 Imperial Standing, which may be a bit costly if you haven't unlocked all your Mog Locker expansions yet.
* /SMN25 or /PLD35 will give you Auto Refresh for 1MP/tick.
* Subbing BLM of at least level 20 will give you the Conserve MP ability, letting you cast more spells with your MP.
* A RDM or BRD could be a good source of Refresh if you skill up in a group.
* Choose a campaign battle area under a nation's control. Not only will there be more idle NPCs to heal, but it will be cheaper and easier to use the teleports. Also, the Fortifications will keep more mobs busy instead of roaming around attacking mages that are resting.
* The Fields of Valor field manuals offer a 90-minute Reraise for 10 tabs and a 60-minute 1MP/tick refresh for 20 tabs. However, you still have to get from the field manual to the campaign battle.
* Make sure your Reraise is up!
Since the proper conditions for healing skill-ups are a bit less common than for Divine/Enfeebling skill-ups, and since your cap will be higher as a WHM, you should work on these first as long as there is an NPC to heal and you are not already capped.
* The generals in Besieged make great targets for healing magic skill-ups.
* It's okay if the NPC has full health. You still get skill-ups from 0HP heals.
* Just throw plain old 8MP Cure I spells on the NPC. There is no advantage to using higher level spells, and they drain your MP faster.
* You can heal players too, but they could get a bit annoyed if you heal them by spamming Cure I spells.
* Try casting Cure on Sprites (level 61-63) and Pixies (level 51-59) for healing skill-ups.
Specific to campaign battles:
* To avoid excess hate, look for an NPC which isn't fighting something. The NM NPCs should be preferred, as they should be higher level than the grunts, but that difference probably won't matter much until you are at least level 60.
* When the NPC gets ready to attack something, stop healing it. And run away to cancel a Cure spell if you are in the process of casting it.
* If no NPCs are standing around idle, you can heal an engaged NPC if you think its mob is likely to die soon. Do not do this if they are attacking a NM.
* If NPCs are present while there is not a campaign battle going on, you can still cast Cure spells on them.
- /ma Cure <t>
* PURPLE MOBS ONLY! If the mob name isn't purple, that means someone else isn't attacking it, which means that YOU will be the only thing on its hate list, which means a quick death!
* Wait for players to pull a mob and attack it as a group. This is good because they will generate more than enough hate to keep your puny Dia and Banish spells from bothering the mob, and they also tend to keep it from wandering around. When it's dead, wait for them to pull another one.
* Make sure that the mob will be killed by the players who are attacking it.
* Don't touch the NM mobs or anyone attacking them. All it takes is a few KOs and you're next in line. Consider its hate toxic and move on to a new zone if there's nothing else left to skill up on.
* If you feel brave and want to attack the NM anyhow, don't touch it unless it's the last mob and everyone is attacking it.
* Don't attack a mob that is only being attacked by NPCs, as they tend to die faster than players, and may not finish off the mob. (And then there are times when they finish it off faster than players would.) Remember, if they die, YOU die next.
* Alternate between Dia (7MP) and Banish (15MP) spells.
* Cast Haste on yourself so that the recast time on Banish will be only a little more than the time to alternate with Dia. Recast Haste as necessary. Remember that Haste doesn't do anything when you are in Weakened state.
* Don't cast Banish if you've capped Divine magic; don't cast Dia if you've capped Enfeebling.
* STAND BACK! Stay out of the mob's AoE range. It's no fun when a Yagudo hits you with Sweep, and some campaign mobs can cast nasty AoE spells like Breakga.
* If you can, stand where it is inconvenient for the mob to reach you. Fort Karugo-Narugo is the best campaign area for this. In Besieged, Al Zahbi has plenty of opportunities to cast spells across a street upstairs. The wooden planks in the walls, and the notches in the wall above the first floor tunnels will let you cast to much of the first floor.
- /ma Haste <me>
- /ma Dia <t>
- /recast Banish
- /ma Banish <t>
Fortunately a white mage has little need for weapon skills other than when soloing. But if you want to skill them up, and don't have a non-mage job yet, the easiest way is to go to a beastmen-controlled area, and attack a Fortification without tags on. However, it is possible that your server might not have any beastmen-controlled areas, in which case you're out of luck.
* The Fortifications are level 50. This will limit the skill level that you can gain this way. Skill-ups come very slowly once you get 2-3 points from the target's cap. For a white mage attacking Fortifications, this happens at 145 club and 140 staff. Those last two points can easily take half an hour per skill when you are capped by the target's level.
* You also have to actually hit the fortifications for at least 1HP damage. This will set a lower limit on your level to use the Fortifications.
* Get Haste so that you can get more hits for more chances at skill-ups.
* Watch out for incoming enemy forces. If they catch you attacking the fortifications, they could start attacking you, even without tags. Keep your targeting unlocked so that you can turn away without having to disengage. And you do have Reraise up, right? Also watch out for non-campaign mobs, such as bats, on the way to and near the Fortification.
* The Fiendish Leechkeepers won't attack you, but they might decide to cast Phalanx on a Fortification. Unless there's a RDM handy, you're screwed until it wears off.
* If you are really brave and have enough skill to hit it, go ahead and /attack a campaign mob with no tags on, using the same guidelines for magic skill-ups. It is probably a bad idea to do this with a campaign NM mob, much worse than casting spells from outside of AoE range. And be sure to have your defensive buffs up.
* Make sure that the weapon skill is from your main job, not your subjob! For instance, WHM doesn't get Dagger skill except from a subjob, so using a dagger won't give you any skill-ups.
* Once you've reached level 50, your next step is Robber Crabs. The best place for this is Cape Teriggan and Kuftal Tunnel, both conviently reached by outpost warp. The Kuftal crabs are level 60-63, and the Teriggan crabs are 64-67. The north end of Kuftal Tunnel and the beach cave on Cape Teriggan are the best places. After you reach 214 club skill, only the highest level Cape Teriggan crabs will work, and you may want to run the weaklings down the cave to the zone line. Level 67 crabs top out at 221 club skill for White Mage, which is just enough to get Hexa Strike.
* You get Evasion and (when equipped) Shield skill-ups this way, when a mob attacks you. If WHM is your first job, you will usually only see these when soloing at lower levels, or right before getting squished into a bloody pulp.
* One good way to get Evasion skill-ups is by tanking Lesser Colibri outside Al Zahbi. You don't have to kill them; if you get in trouble just Repose them and zone. After this you should try tanking in Besieged battles, using Flash, Cure III/IV, etc. to keep hate as long as possible.
* You will not get Evasion or Shield skill-ups when Blink is up. Just stick to Protect and Stoneskin.
* You get better shield skill-ups when you use a buckler shield. For White Mage, the only real option is the Light Buckler.
- /ma Haste <me>
Tired of casting enhancing spells on yourself for infrequent 0.1 skill-ups? Would you like a way to get fast enhancing magic skill-ups in campaign battles? Sorry, you can't, as it is not possible to cast any Enhancing Magic spell on a campaign battle NPC with tags off. But you can do it in Besieged!
Just find a general (at the start of the battle they are in known locations), cast Haste on yourself, then spam Haste on the general. Avoid the temptation to target someone else for a heal or raise, since the generals can be very hard to re-target in the midst of battle. (But you can cast spells from menus or the command line without losing your target.) While Haste is slow to recast, and it costs 40MP, there doesn't seem to be any better option. You can probably also cast Haste on the other NPCs such as the Qiqirn Freelancers.
* Protect and Shell will also work as long as someone hasn't already stuck a higher tier Protect or Shell on your target. Usually an NPC will start casting this on generals and other NPCs soon after the battle starts. Other players may also cast higher level protect spells for skill-ups, not realizing that the tier 1 spells work just as well.
* Unfortunately, Haste is a level 40 WHM / level 48 RDM spell and thus can't be subbed to another job. If you don't have a high-level WHM or RDM, you may not be able to use this method to skill up in Enhancing Magic.
* It might be possible that the RDM level 7 Barsleep spell can be cast on Besieged NPCs, but I don't have any way to test this yet.
- /ma Haste <me>
- /ma Haste <t>
Enhancing skill-ups the Hard Way
The usual way to skill up Enhancing is to spam Bar- spells constantly for a few hours. This is typically done with a 3 Bar-spell macro while standing outside a Mog House entrance. Al Zahbi or a [S] area are good MH locations because you can get a latent refresh effect with Sanction and Sigil, letting you go longer before you have to duck into the MH to recharge. Be polite and don't do this where lots of players go idle.
Here is the macro:
- /wait 3
- /ma Barstonra <me>
- /wait 4
- /ma Barwatera <me>
- /wait 4
- /ma Barfira <me>
Hit the macro again as the third casting time bar goes away, or listen for the third casting "whoosh" sound to start.
* The last few skill points will take a long time when casting spells on yourself.
* If you have a higher level friend who doesn't mind standing idle outside the Mog House for a while, make a party and try targeting the spells on him/her. Of course this won't work very well after you reach level 70 or so. This applies to Healing Magic as well.
SMN uses a similar technique for Summoning Magic skill-ups by repeatedly summoning different avatars in rotation.
BLM and RDM skillups
These principles should apply to BLM and RDM as well. For BLM you will want to level up Elemental and Dark skills, and possibly Enfeebling as well. RDM still needs Enfeebling and Enhancing skillups beyond BLM and WHM.
* BLM and RDM need a source of Reraise. Either use a Reraise Earring (level 24) or /WHM (level 66). Unless you're going in a skill-up group with a WHM or RDM, don't depend on others in the campaign battle to cast Raise when things go wrong. Or wait for a Besieged, when Raises and Instant Reraise scrolls are readily available. In campaign battles, temporary item Instant Reraise scrolls can be bought for 30 Allied Notes in nation-controlled areas.
* A BLM/WHM in the high 20s can skill up Elemental and Dark magic in Besieged, then spam Cure II spells for the rest of the battle, and get up to 60% of the full battle XP, for as much as 10% of the experience needed to gain another level.
* BLM should spam Bio (15MP) and Stone (9MP). When possible, cast Aspir (10MP), which can get you a bit of MP back too, but its 60 second recast time keeps you from spamming it. If in a skill-up group, getting Haste will let you cast Aspir more often.
* BLM could possibly use Bind (9MP) for Enfeebling Magic skill-ups if Dia is not available, but resists may make this impractical.
- /ma Bio <t>
- /ma Stone <t>
- /ma Aspir <t>
- /ma Bind <t>
Keep your skills capped!
Once you've got your magic skills capped, keep them capped. The further behind you get, the longer it takes to catch up. It should only take one Level 8 Besieged every time you gain a level to keep them capped.
At the higher levels
You will notice a slowdown in skill-ups when you hit levels 60, 70, and 75. After level 70 you will probably have a hard time capping everything in one Besieged battle. At level 75, you may be better off using the 3-Barspell macro to get the last 3 or so points of Enhancing. Just remember that once you're done, you're done. With the exception of later reaching 75 in Red Mage or Black Mage, you won't have to do any of this ever again.