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Beginner's Guide to the Refresh Cycle

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  • Beginner's Guide to the Refresh Cycle

    What is a Refresh cycle?: The Refresh cycle is a simple technique that most red mages employ in order to get the most out of our signature spell, Refresh, gained at level 41. Simply put, one chooses an order in which one will apply Refresh spells to party members who need it, prioritizing based on the importance of a job's spellcasting ability to the party's success, its MP consumption, and its ability to regain MP in large amounts by other means.

    To apply the Refresh cycle, simply start at the top of your list of priorities (yourself) and work your way down it, applying Refresh to each member as soon as you can (which hopefully means you're waiting for the timer, not for sufficient MP!). Typically, one can fit two other spells, such as enfeebles or Haste (in fact, later you will often have a parallel Haste cycle) between Refreshes. Refresh lasts for exactly one game hour, which is just about two minutes and 24 seconds of real time; this allows one to easily track when Refreshes will wear off with the game clock. When Refresh runs out on you, start from the top at the earliest possible opportunity. Do not wait for it to start to wear on other people! In this way, you can keep the flow of MP to every magic-user in the party nearly constant.


    Kamiel's Default Refresh Cycle:
    This is the author's own Refresh cycle, as an example, with the reasoning behind it. Opinions do vary, but this isn't a bad starting point.

    RDM (self): A red mage should Refresh himself as his first priority. This is for two reasons. One, we can't Refresh anybody else if we run out of MP. Two, if all else fails we can pinch-hit. Note that any other RDMs in your party should be expected also to Refresh themselves as first priority; you shouldn't need to do it yourself.


    WHM, main healing SCH, or MP/WHM (SMN main healer)
    : If you're not main healing, show the person taking the healing and Hasting duties off of you some gratitude -- not to mention, if there is no MP left for healing, people die, even in lazy universally /NIN hate-bouncing meleeburns. Note that while SMN (and /SMN at higher levels) does get Auto Refresh, that doesn't mean you should neglect them in the Refresh cycle; quite the opposite, the presence of the trait emphasizes how much they need Refresh! Your Refresh stacks with Auto Refresh, so get to it!

    Note that opinions do vary on whether the main healer or a paladin should be second in the refresh order. Both are acceptable; make your own decision.

    PLD: Part of how a paladin maintains hate is by healing himself. For this reason, not only should you always Refresh a PLD early in your cycle so that they have the MP for both this and Flash, but you should also take care not to overheal them. In fact, if you're not the main healer, don't heal paladins at all unless they're in the red or out of MP. Also, to reiterate an earlier point, Paladins do not have Auto Refresh so that you can neglect them in the Refresh cycle. PLDs have Auto Refresh because they bloody well need it in addition to your own! In fact, for a PLD it's even more important because resting reduces TP.


    BLU
    : Blue mages have a tendency to tear through their MP at a prodigious rate thanks to their ability to survive for a short time if they happen to pull hate and the short casting times of their spells. Also, like other front-liners, they can't afford to rest; furthermore, even when its usage applies, MP Drainkiss is more limited than Aspir. Also, remember, having the Auto Refresh trait set doesn't mean that they don't need you, it means that they do!

    Summoning SMN: Summoners have a lot of MP and Auto Refresh because their intended purpose is to have their avatars melee. Your Refresh can potentially make this worthwhile to actually do despite questionable accuracy and damage. Even if the summoner doesn't play this way, she's still going to need MP for Blood Pacts -- some of which eat quite a bit of MP in exchange for a potent result -- and backup healing.

    Balanced SCH: Scholar's role in a party is so potentially variable that you have to actually figure out what role the SCH is fulfilling on a case-by-case basis and choose their place in the Refresh cycle accordingly. There are basically three places a SCH can be put: the main healer role, the BLM role, or a niche of their own that somewhat resembles the summoning SMN's, but with less of an MP drain issue. A balanced SCH will backup heal, nuke occasionally, and can potentially use AoE buffs like a SMN. They have a respectable Aspir for those situations where it fits and MP conservation abilities, but they'll still be almost as busy as you and thus have relatively limited time to rest for MP. Note that Sublimation overwrites, but is slower and less efficient than, Refresh; as such, you may need to ask your SCH (or /SCH), {Refresh} {Sublimation} {Which?}

    BLM (or purely nuking SCH): A black mage with no MP is nothing. However, BLMs must by necessity use their attack spells sparingly, giving them ample time to rest for MP. Furthermore, if the mob is Aspirable, that makes the BLM even more self-sufficient. However, none of this should be taken to mean that a BLM doesn't need Refresh; rather, it just means that other jobs need it more. Throw this in every time you have enough MP to do so.

    Non-mage with mage subjob: Sometimes, these types have mage support jobs to act as backup healers, such as the classic BRD/WHM. Other times, they have creative ideas about how to apply their limited spellcasting ability to the front lines, such as a DRG/RDM who knows how to actually apply the defensive wyvern to its full potential and throws Enspells on their relatively low-delay spears. Whatever the case, they don't have a lot of MP to work with, more often than not can't simply rest for MP, and they'll appreciate not being overlooked; on the other hand, being out of MP will usually not shut these sorts down entirely like any of the jobs higher in the order. Note that this placement in the order is particularly approximate; they may go up or down depending on the exact combination of jobs and the party makeup.

    DRK: We've all seen it: the dark knight who seems to think that his MP is just there for show -- not standing by to use Stun, at worst not even using Absorb-TP! Furthermore, they have the most effective Aspir in the game, sometimes making them able to refill their MP pool by themselves. As such, DRK getting Refresh at all may not even be necessary. Pay attention to the spellcasting behavior of your DRK and Refresh accordingly; some call for a Refresh at the end of every cycle, some every other cycle, and some not at all. It all depends on the individual DRK. Note that if the DRK has suggestions or requests as far as your usage of Refresh aside from "move me up in the order", they're probably worth taking into consideration; they likely complement that DRK's playstyle.


    I hope that this is helpful for new post-sub-level red mages. If any other RDMs have any comments, differing opinions, etc. about this topic, by all means add to this guide. -- Pteryx
    Last edited by Pteryx; 05-13-2008, 08:57 AM. Reason: Updating SCH section

  • #2
    Re: Beginner's Guide to the Refresh Cycle

    One thing about the order; in my experience, PLD runs out of MP faster than WHM or SMN main healer. Also, a WHM out of MP can usually rest (and let my RDM or PLD cure), while the tank can't take a knee during the fight. The two factor combined means a PLD tank should have the highest priority, next to RDM.

    (RDM69, PLD62, BLM54, WHM44, and BRD25 here, so I have fair amount of experience giving and receiving Refresh, and hopefully not too off on this. ^_^; )

    I'd also put BLM ahead of SMN not main healing, but I may be just biased because I like BLM.


    Originally posted by Pteryx View Post
    Non-mage with mage subjob: Sometimes, these types have mage support jobs to act as backup healers, such as the classic BRD/WHM. Other times, they have creative ideas about how to apply their limited spellcasting ability to the front lines, such as a DRG/RDM who knows how to actually apply the hybrid wyvern to its full potential and throws Enspells on their relatively low-delay spears. Whatever the case, they don't have a lot of MP to work with, more often than not can't simply rest for MP, and they'll appreciate not being overlooked; on the other hand, being out of MP will usually not shut these sorts down entirely like any of the jobs higher in the order. Note that this placement in the order is particularly approximate; they may go up or down depending on the exact combination of jobs and the party makeup.
    Heh. I think one JP BRD/WHM was actually insulted that I gave her Refresh. (I was only showing my appreciation for her backup healing. ) Back when my RDM had static BRD, I always gave that BRD full-time Refresh on monsters with AoE attacks, and sometimes even on monsters without AoE attacks.


    Anyway, Refresh people who use MP is a good thing; the more MP they use, the less you (the RDM) have to do besides Refresh.
    Bamboo shadows sweep the stars,
    yet not a mote of dust is stirred;
    Moonlight pierces the depths of the pond,
    leaving no trace in the water.

    - Mugaku

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    • #3
      Re: Beginner's Guide to the Refresh Cycle

      Ya I'm also going to have to chime in and put PLD above WHM. WHM has a whole lot more MP then a PLD does, and an extra 10s or so of Refresh won't mean much to them, to a PLD though it can be a lot.

      The short of a Refresh cycle in general is if they have MP, they should have Refresh.
      I use a Mac because I'm just better than you are.

      HTTP Error 418 - I'm A Teapot - The resulting entity body MAY be short and stout.

      loose

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      • #4
        Re: Beginner's Guide to the Refresh Cycle

        I always keep a baseline Refresh cycle - Myself, WHM, Tank - and use my judgment with others. If I see that my BLU, BLM, SMN or DRK is less than half MP I will add them to that given cycle.

        This helps me a great deal. I'm have a habit of trying to be as efficient as possible (which comes from hours and hours of merit parties and Dynamis runs) and that means maximizing every single MP. Doing this helps me stretch out all the spells I need between Convert timers without resting.
        Last edited by Olorin401; 05-16-2007, 08:21 AM.
        Host of irc.gamesurge.net #FF14 - TheAfterLife XI & XIV LS
        Olorin (Ramuh): BLM75 BRD78 WHM75 RDM75
        Olorin Branwen (Melmond): Lv12 LNC9 CON7 THM6 MNR6 ALC4

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        • #5
          Re: Beginner's Guide to the Refresh Cycle

          I use Me > PLD > Healer. Everyone else gets it as needed. A lot of BLM's use a playstyle (I've found) that doesn't require a Refresh each cycle. I interlace my Refreshes with my Hastes (when Hasting) for efficiency. You can (nearly) continuously cast Refresh > Haste > Refresh > Haste... without more than a couple seconds pause between casts.

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          • #6
            Re: Beginner's Guide to the Refresh Cycle

            The guide should also let beginners know that Refresh lasts exactly one game hour, so they can anticipate it wearing off if they track the initial cast time on themselves.
            Bamboo shadows sweep the stars,
            yet not a mote of dust is stirred;
            Moonlight pierces the depths of the pond,
            leaving no trace in the water.

            - Mugaku

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Beginner's Guide to the Refresh Cycle

              Thank you, everyone. I've edited the OP a bit. -- Pteryx

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              • #8
                Re: Beginner's Guide to the Refresh Cycle

                Added to The Red Mage Index. ^_^v
                Bamboo shadows sweep the stars,
                yet not a mote of dust is stirred;
                Moonlight pierces the depths of the pond,
                leaving no trace in the water.

                - Mugaku

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Beginner's Guide to the Refresh Cycle

                  Also, it is acceptable to beat people that say "Refresh Please."
                  I use a Mac because I'm just better than you are.

                  HTTP Error 418 - I'm A Teapot - The resulting entity body MAY be short and stout.

                  loose

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                  • #10
                    Re: Beginner's Guide to the Refresh Cycle

                    Originally posted by Pteryx View Post
                    Other times, they have creative ideas about how to apply their limited spellcasting ability to the front lines, such as a DRG/RDM who knows how to actually apply the hybrid wyvern to its full potential and throws Enspells on their relatively low-delay spears. Whatever the case, they don't have a lot of MP to work with, more often than not can't simply rest for MP, and they'll appreciate not being overlooked; on the other hand, being out of MP will usually not shut these sorts down entirely like any of the jobs higher in the order. Note that this placement in the order is particularly approximate; they may go up or down depending on the exact combination of jobs and the party makeup.
                    DRG/RDM doesn't create the hybrid wyvern, it creates the healer wyvern. DRG/X Mage = healer wyvern only (healing breath, status cure). BRD, DRK, NIN and PLD subs create the hybrid wyvern (healing breath on spell trigger, attack breath on WS). Standard melee subs create offensive wyvern.

                    Additionally, DRG/Mage would actually be lower on the list than DRK, as their cures shouldn't require more than 5-7 MP to trigger. If your DRG/Mage is curing often to save the PT, something's wrong with the PT.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Beginner's Guide to the Refresh Cycle

                      Another trick to recognize when to restart refresh cycle, without having to wait for it to wear:

                      Refresh lasts about one Vana'diel hour. So if you cast it on you at 10:00 game time, you'll need to cast it again around 11:00 game time.

                      This should help you determine when you can rest peacefully for a tick or two as well.
                      Feona - Leviathan Server - Bastok 10
                      RDM75/BLU75/WHM58/etc.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Beginner's Guide to the Refresh Cycle

                        Originally posted by FortMan View Post
                        Another trick to recognize when to restart refresh cycle, without having to wait for it to wear:

                        Refresh lasts about one Vana'diel hour. So if you cast it on you at 10:00 game time, you'll need to cast it again around 11:00 game time.

                        This should help you determine when you can rest peacefully for a tick or two as well.
                        Um... ^_^;

                        I mentioned this earlier:
                        Originally posted by IfritnoItazura View Post
                        The guide should also let beginners know that Refresh lasts exactly one game hour, so they can anticipate it wearing off if they track the initial cast time on themselves.
                        So, Pteryx added:
                        Originally posted by Pteryx View Post
                        Refresh lasts for exactly one game hour, which is just about two minutes and 24 seconds of real time; this allows one to easily track when Refreshes will wear off with the game clock.
                        Bamboo shadows sweep the stars,
                        yet not a mote of dust is stirred;
                        Moonlight pierces the depths of the pond,
                        leaving no trace in the water.

                        - Mugaku

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                        • #13
                          Re: Beginner's Guide to the Refresh Cycle

                          Oh, my bad It was late.
                          Feona - Leviathan Server - Bastok 10
                          RDM75/BLU75/WHM58/etc.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Beginner's Guide to the Refresh Cycle

                            Mmmm.... tasty. *applies some Moderator's glue*


                            Icemage

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                            • #15
                              Re: Beginner's Guide to the Refresh Cycle

                              Originally posted by IfritnoItazura View Post
                              One thing about the order; in my experience, PLD runs out of MP faster than WHM or SMN main healer.
                              While this might be true, I thought S-E fixed it so that you don't lose TP now resting for mp/hp ... ? So while you may not be kneeling during the battle, you can do so now after (Throwing on a VC as well with PLD job trait for auto-refresh)

                              Unless you're talking TP burn parties where a paladin can't rest. But, not making a rude comment here intentionally, I thought usually PLDs don't get invited to TP burn parties. So in traditional parties, as long as a pally gets a refresh, mp regen shouldn't be an issue...

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