It’s been just over two years that I’ve been playing Final Fantasy XIV – not including time with the open beta, of course – and I feel that content is finally hitting that point where everybody seems to know what to expect and how to react. With every new piece of content, things get shaken up a bit, especially when the new classes dropped and the Alexander runs were released with Heavensward and future patches but… there’s one thing that always kind of bothered me.
One thing has remained constant since the day I started playing: people having difficulty with Titan. Whether it’s Titan’s story, hard, or extreme modes, people always seem to have difficulty with this trial. What’s worse is that the fundamental thing that people seem to have issues with in this trial are things that people seem to do just fine with in other instances: AOE. One of the worst tellers of this in Titan’s trial is an ability called Landslide that lays up to three very clear lines on the ground which you need to avoid by the time the ability is cast or else you’re knocked back and, in the hard and extreme modes, most likely knocked off the platform, making you impossible to resurrect, meaning you just became useless until the group wipes or succeeds. Thanks to a change made a couple of patches ago, it’s even easier to tell when someone’s been knocked off. Unless you’re lagging – in which case, what are you going sticking around in Titan, in the first place – there should be no real excuse for having this kind of difficulty.
None of Titan’s abilities are particularly hard-hitting, either: it just demands you have patience, you pay attention, and that you’re almost always moving. One ability that requires this, for example, drops a certain pattern of boulders on the playing field and they have a timer before they explode in the same pattern. This requires you to steer clear of where the boulder is going to land and then watch how the boulders flash to know how to avoid getting blown up. It takes a few tries to get used to it but only getting blown up by one never does enough damage to really take you out. If you’re smack dab in the middle of a bunch and you’re not paying attention, though, watch out. Same goes for another ability which drops an AOE under each party member that does not move with them and when the party tends to stack on the same spot it makes it easier to avoid… for those that avoid it. Another one of those instances where someone that’s caught in it gets devastated, especially in hard and extreme modes, as there’s eight party members and each one can do about 2000-3000 depending on your armor class.
Then there’s the super easy stuff that seems to get missed from time to time and it’s a miracle of science in figuring out why it still happens: one of which is that between each phase, the playing field gets smaller and the area that shrinks is marked well before it actually does, giving you time to know to stay within the field without falling off, yet some people still manage to fall off; another is a whole phase where you have to switch targets to “Titan’s Heart” which is the only vulnerable target during the phase and nothing really changes of note on most modes but if you don’t kill the Heart during this phase Titan uses an ability that wipes the party, guaranteed.
Titan shares a problem with the battle from World of Darkness with that freaking Angra Mainyu thing: the battle is heavy with mechanics. Some battles have some mechanics but between these two battles, they’re probably the worst for them and it shows, because these are battles where having high end gear and a great party alone won’t save you. You will die if you’re not good enough. There’s mechanics that, if you are lazy or complacent about playing the game, which is easy if you’re way overgeared for a majority of its content, will destroy you and, by chance, completely remove you from the remainder of the trial or dungeon. What’s worse, is that everyone who knows better will immediately know you’re the one who’s going to make things worse from this point forward.
What brings this on, you might ask, as roughly half of my Final Fantasy XIV articles already talk about Titan in some way, shape, or form? Well, yesterday, while I was doing my dailies, I came across Titan Hard Mode in my Trial Roulette, something that rarely happens, anymore. I’d had a pretty rough day as it was, up until that point, so I was already frustrated and irritated by the time I started the trial but things only got worse from there. DPS was made of a SMN, two DRGs – one of which was me – and a BLM: everything else was fairly rounded. Except our WHM sucked at healing and our DPS’ were dropping like flies either to death or to falling off the platform. People rarely got the resurrections they needed because one healer was taking on almost all the healing and the other was just flopping around like a surfaced fish. Everyone was synced. There was no bonus. Everyone’s completed it before and yet four players couldn’t get their act together. Bring them into Alex, though, and I bet they have it in order, more, but Titan? Why is it always Titan?
At least with Angra Mainyu, it took place in a dungeon and the rest of the dungeon wasn’t nearly as frustrating – considering it was a mid-boss, too, it usually didn’t last very long; the frustration didn’t last and it always separated who you can rely on from who you couldn’t and you didn’t necessarily need everyone to come together in order to make World of Darkness work. Here, you kind of need everyone to be working together – especially your DPS. I’m just throttled that with the amount of time Titan Story Mode and Hard Mode have been around the difficulty it still gives people.