||[Mar. 12th, 2008|06:57 pm]
These are my impressions of the PLD/DNC thus far. My opinions may change over time, but at the moment, WYSIWYG.
Whenever I participate in Campaign battles or Besieged, this is my preferred combination. PLD/DNC is an extremely cost-effective, self-curing, hate-building beast in these instances: she depends on flash for the initial hate spike instead of provoke, using waltzes alongside cures to lower the amount of MP burnt off per second (this is actually pretty important, as the PLD usually has no support in Campaign, and can using Healing Waltz to get rid of most annoying status effects), and using steps to build up for animated flourishes for a secondary hate spike. Given how accurate a PLD can be with a sword and how much TP is gained per shield block, TP gain will not be a problem for a PLD/DNC.
Given how ridiculous the survivability of PLD/DNC is, it's hardly a bad combination; it's much more versatile than /WAR for pure tanking, except that it takes a fight or two (or one Icarus Wing) to get her started. When she's going up against a mob that she can afford to melee, and she's going up against that mob for the long haul, there really is no better combination to use.
With this in mind, I decided to take PLD/DNC to Dynamis to main tank: it didn't work out. Looking back, the problems were readily apparent, but I guess I was so eager to try something new that I had ignored the problems.
First of all, because of the nature of the job, DNC itself is slow to get started, so I should have expected the same of any job that would use it as a subjob (except SAM). For a DNC to get a decent start, she needs to pump out enough TP for a samba, then enough TP for waltzes, use up 10 TP every ten seconds for steps, then quickly burn the resultant finishing moves for flourishes. And that's if she's merely playing support. If she's tanking, it gets a little harder because then she needs to quickly gain 10 TP for a step, burn the finishing move on Animated Flourish, then hold hate somehow, using by way of cures, flash, waltzes, or what-have-you. The problem for the PLD/DNC is that the first few mobs are going to be loose on hate because your PLD will be trying to build up TP for her sub. The obvious solution would be an icarus wing or a samurai with Shikikoyo, but then there's another problem.
The second problem a PLD will have with /DNC is accuracy. Yes, I know PLD has A+ in sword and they're one of the few jobs that can achieve over 300 in a combat skill, but in order to gain TP and maintain hate, they need to make every hit count. Every piece of accuracy gear you have means that it's a piece of enmity gear that you're not using; you're more likely to find yourself using a DD setup rather than a tanking setup...not smart when going up against a MNK mob. The reason they need every swing connect is not only for TP gain but steps. Steps have a recast time of ten seconds, which isn't long...until you miss while you're out of Finishing Moves. In Campaign, I could get away with a DD setup because I had a lot of time to build up hate; not so in Dynamis.
Which brings us to problem #3: Dynamis mobs simply don't last that long. They might have the same amount of HP as a campaign mob, but campaign battles hardly have the methodical killing patterns that are the part of any successful Dynamis run. In other words, Campaign mobs rarely have 18~20 pimped-out DDs on them at any given time. Thus, a campaign mob may last up to two minutes, with NMs lasting anywhere from five to twenty minutes. A Dynamis mob would be lucky to live 30 seconds; THF and PLD are the exceptions, but you can hardly build up TP on those (though you can build up finishing steps on PLDs). That means a DNC has, at most, three step attempts to use on a Dynamis mob. On a campaign mob, a DNC can build up to 200 TP while keeping sambas maintained, and build up to six or seven charges (give or take a flourish here and there).
The fourth issue isn't really a problem, but in Dynamis, a PLD gets much more support than in campaign, where she is pretty much alone or given a cure here and there. The refresh, ballads, cures, haste, and backup tank that are present in Dynamis immediately nullify the advantages that /DNC offer the PLD because that subjob was designed for a PLD who lacked any support what so ever.
In short, PLD/DNC is awesome for campaign and soloing certain mobs, but unless someone perfects this particular job combination for Dynamis, I'd have to give it a thumbs-down as a main tank.
On a somewhat off-topic note, these "no relic drop" Dynamis runs have to come to an end. Four runs with no relic at all is just too much.